Efford v. Bundy

In Carriage of Passengers by Sea on (Updated )

In this matter the Plaintiff was injured on board a rigid hull inflatable boat while whale watching off Tofino, British Columbia. The Plaintiff injured her back when the bow of the boat came down hard when crossing the wake of a large fishing vessel. The Plaintiff alleged the Defendant was negligent in his operation of the boat and in failing to warn of the danger. The Court found that the Defendant had operated the boat in accordance with accepted safe boating practices but it also found that the Defendant had failed to adequately warn the Plaintiff. Specifically, the Court held that it was not sufficient that the Defendant had advised the Plaintiff that the bow seat was the roughest and that people with back problems should sit further back. The Court held that the Defendant should also have instructed passengers with respect to the location of safe handholds and the way in which to brace themselves. Nevertheless, the Plaintiff was found 75% at fault because she had a prior back problem and had been warned by her doctors to avoid heavy lifting. For the full text of this decision, click here.