Nickerson v. Canada

In Ship Building and Repair on (Updated )

This was an action against two steamship inspectors for providing the Plaintiff with negligent advice. The facts were that the inspectors wrote a letter to the Plaintiff recommending, inter alia, that he coat the wood core of his vessel with a suitable wood preservative before applying fibre glass. The Plaintiff alleged that in reliance on this advice he purchased and applied creosote to his vessel. The Plaintiff was later advised that fibre glass would not bond to wood coated with creosote. Accordingly, the Plaintiff brought this action for damages in the amount of $500,000. Unfortunately for the Plaintiff, the court completely disbelieved him. The court found as a fact that the plaintiff did not creosote his vessel as he alleged. Further, the court held that even if the Plaintiff did creosote the vessel the inspectors were not liable. The inspectors merely advised the Plaintiff to apply a suitable wood preservative. The court held that the Plaintiff had the duty to make necessary inquiries to determine what a suitable preservative would have been. Finally, the court held that, in any event, the Plaintiff’s vessel had deteriorated to such an extent that it was beyond repair and any advice given by the inspectors would have been to no avail.