Haldane Products Inc. v. United Parcel Service Canada Ltd.

In Carriage of Goods by Road/Rail on (Updated )

Although not a sea carriage matter, this case is nevertheless of interest. The Plaintiff entered into a contract with UPS for the carriage of cargo to Vancouver. The contract was governed by UPS’s service conditions which were provided to the Plaintiff in advance. These conditions provided that the liability of UPS was limited to $100 for loss of or damage to cargo unless a higher value was declared. No value was declared for the shipment. UPS subcontracted the carriage to the second Defendant. During the course of the carriage the trailer caught fire and the Plaintiff’s goods were lost. The court held that UPS was entitled to rely upon the limitation provision in its service conditions. The subcontractor, however, was held not be entitled to the benefit of the limitation clause. The court noted the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in London Drugs Ltd. v Kuehne & Nagel International Ltd., (1992) 97 D.L.R. (4th) 261, and held that it would be implicit that employees of UPS would perform the obligations of UPS under the contract. The court reasoned that "if it is implicit that UPS would act through its employees, it follows that participation by subcontractors was implicitly excluded". In result, the subcontractor was not entitled to limit its damages.