Plaintiff insurance company, acting on a subrogated claim, sued cargo companies based an erroneous shipping of fresh cherries that was supposed to be delivered from Chile to Taiwan via Miami. In actuality, the cherries were delivered from Chile to Argentina to Brazil to New York, then Taiwan. Because of the longer time for delivery, the cherries suffered total loss due to decay and mildew. Defendants moved to dismiss based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, because Warsaw Convention of 1929 governed the suits arising from carriage of goods. If the Warsaw Convention applies, the suit cannot be brought in the United States.
The court found that the Warsaw Convention did not apply. The dispute was whether China's accession to the Warsaw Convention means Taiwan, which became independent thereafter, is also a signatory to the treaty. Based on the amicus brief submitted by the United States submitted in a similar case in the 9th Circuit, the court determined the executive branch deems Taiwan as not a signatory to the Warsaw Convention, and the court must follow the executive branch's determination.
Adventure times with Taiwan's legal status continues! With all these sovereign states talking about splitting off or coming together--like Brexit, Scottish independence, Korean reunification--it wouldn't be a bad idea to brush up on the treaty status of the sovereigns in these situations.