Revere Copper & Brass, Inc. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co.

426 F.2d 709 (5th Cir. 1970)

 

RULE:

From the application of the doctrine of ancillary jurisdiction to the joinder devices, a claim has a logical relationship to the original claim if it arises out of the same aggregate of operative facts as the original claim in two senses: (1) that the same aggregate of operative facts serves as the basis of both claims, or (2) that the aggregate core of facts upon which the original claim rests activates additional legal rights in a party defendant that would otherwise remain dormant.

FACTS:

Plaintiff assignee brought an action against third-party plaintiff insurer on a surety bond executed by third-party plaintiff. The bond obligated third-party defendant and third-party plaintiff to pay plaintiff damages that might result from third-party defendant's failure to perform under two construction contracts. Third-party plaintiff filed a third-party complaint for indemnity against third-party defendant, who filed a counterclaim against plaintiff under Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(a). Plaintiff's and third-party defendant's claims each arose, inter alia, out of alleged breached express and implied warranties and contract terms, and negligence. Plaintiff appealed from the denial of his motion to dismiss the counterclaim. The appellate court affirmed and remanded for further proceedings.

ISSUE:

Did third-party defendant’s claim against plaintiff under Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(a) come within the ancillary jurisdiction of the federal courts?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

Third-party defendant's claims satisfied the ancillary jurisdiction doctrine as they had a logical relationship to the original claim against third-party plaintiff insurer. The same aggregate of operative facts served as the basis for both claims, and the aggregate core of facts upon which the original claim rested activated additional legal rights of third-party defendant that would have otherwise remained dormant.

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