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Third-Party Practice

The admiralty impleader rule, Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(c), is a rule designed to expedite and consolidate admiralty actions by permitting a third-party plaintiff to demand judgment against a third-party defendant in favor of the plaintiff.[i]

Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(c) governs the third-party practice in a case of admiralty jurisdiction.  Rule 14 provides that when a plaintiff asserts an admiralty claim within the meaning of Rule 9(h), the defendant or claimant, as a third-party plaintiff, may bring in a third-party defendant who may be wholly or partly liable, either to the plaintiff or to the third-party plaintiff, by way of remedy over, contribution, or otherwise on account of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.  Moreover, the third-party plaintiff may demand judgment against the third-party defendant in favor of the plaintiff, in which event the third-party defendant shall make his/her defenses to the claim of the plaintiff as well as that of the third-party plaintiff.[ii]  The action shall proceed as if the plaintiff had commenced it against the third-party defendant as well as the third-party plaintiff.[iii]

[i] Greenwell v. Aztar Ind. Gaming Corp., 268 F.3d 486 (7th Cir. Ind. 2001)

[ii] McCann v. Falgout Boat Co., 44 F.R.D. 34 (S.D. Tex. 1968)

[iii] Fawcett v. Pacific Far East Lines, Inc., 76 F.R.D. 519 (N.D. Cal. 1977)

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