United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division
INVERSIONES Y PROCESADORA TROPICAL INPROTSA, S.A., a Costa Rican Corporation, Petitioner,
DEL MONTE INTERNATIONAL GMBH, a Swiss Corporation, Respondent.
ORDER GRANTING CROSS-PETITION TO CONFIRM THE ARBITRAL
FEDERICO A. MORENO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
December 6, 2016, this Court dismissed Inversiones y
Procesadora Tropical INPROTSA, SA.'s petition to vacate
an Arbitral Award. INPROTSA, S.A. appealed that order to the
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Eleventh Circuit
issued a limited remand requesting this Court rule on Del
Monte International GmbH's cross-petition to confirm the
arbitral award. The issues presented on the limited remand
include whether the Court has jurisdiction, whether the
cross-petition should be confirmed on the merits, and whether
INPROTSA is timely raising affirmative defenses to the
cross-petition. Having reviewed the issues, the Court finds
there is jurisdiction over the cross-petition to confirm the
arbitral award. This Court also finds INPROTSA has not
overcome the presumption in favor of confirming arbitration
awards and INPROTSA's arguments are untimely.
Accordingly, the Court grants Del Monte's cross-petition
to confirm the arbitral award.
CAUSE came before the Court upon the Cross-Petition to
Confirm the Arbitral Award.
COURT has considered the motion, the response, the pertinent
portions of the record, and being otherwise fully advised in
the premises, it is
that the cross-petition to confirm the arbitral award is
Inversiones y Procesadora Tropical INPROTSA, S.A., filed a
petition to vacate an arbitral award in state court.
Respondent, Del Monte International, GmbH, removed the case
to this Court on October 7, 2016. Petitioner moved for remand
to state court. Respondent moved to dismiss the petition to
vacate the arbitral award and requested the Court confirm the
December 6, 2016, the Court entered an Order dismissing the
petition to vacate and denying all pending motions as moot.
The Petitioner appealed and the Respondent moved for
clarification as to whether the dismissal of the petition to
vacate meant that the Court was confirming the arbitral
award. Due to INPROTSA's Notice of Appeal, the Court
denied the motion for clarification because it was divested
Eleventh Circuit issued a Limited Remand requesting this
Court decide whether to confirm the arbitration award.
underlying arbitration arose out of an exclusive Pineapple
Sales Agreement entered between the parties in May 2001. Del
Monte claimed INPROTSA breached the agreement by selling
pineapples originating from Del Monte's seeds to
competitors. In March 2014, Del Monte commenced the
arbitration proceedings before the International Court of
Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce as
required by the Agreement's arbitration clause. On June
10, 2016, the arbitrator issued a final award in favor of Del
Monte in a 48-page order. In addition to specific performance
and injunctive relief, the arbitrator ordered INPROTSA to pay
Del Monte $26, 133, 000, plus pre and post-award interest,
arbitral costs in the amount of $650, 000 and attorney's
fees in the amount of $2, 507, 440.54.
this case is on a limited remand to decide whether to confirm
the arbitral award, the Petitioner is raising the issue of
whether the federal court has subject matter jurisdiction
under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of
Foreign Arbitral Awards (the "New York
Convention"). "Federal courts operate under a
continuing obligation to inquire into the existence of
subject matter jurisdiction whenever it may be lacking. That
obligation continues through every stage of a case even if no
party raises the issue." RES-GA Cobblestone, LLC. v.
Blake Constr. & Dev., LLC, 718 F.3d 1308, 1313
(11th Cir. 2013).
removed this case on the basis that Section 203 of the
Federal Arbitration Act provides jurisdiction. That section
states "[a]n action or proceeding falling under the New
York Convention shall be deemed to arise under the the laws
and treaties of the United States. The district courts of the
United States . . . shall have original jurisdiction over