Ferguson v. Arctic Transportation Ltd. et.al.

In Constitutional Issues in Maritime Law on (Updated )

The issue in this matter was whether the Federal Court had jurisdiction to determine issues of contribution and indemnity raised in a Third Party action. The facts were that the Plaintiff, a pilot with the Panama Canal Commission, was injured on board a ship owned and operated by the Defendants while it was transiting the Panama Canal. The Defendant commenced Third Party proceedings against the Panama Canal Commission alleging that the Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the negligence of employees of the Commission. The Commission argued that the claim for contribution and indemnity was not a claim recognized by Canadian Maritime Law and was therefore not within the jurisdiction of the Federal Court. The Court, however, held that it did have jurisdiction as the claim related to pilotage. The Court further noted that Canadian Maritime Law includes the law of torts.