DSL Corporation v. Bulk Atlantic Inc.

In Admiralty Practice, Stays of Proceedings on (Updated )

The Plaintiff claimed against the Defendant for damage to steel pipe carried from Turkey to Houston. The Defendant applied to set aside the ex juris service of the Statement of Claim or stay the proceedings on the grounds there was no real and substantial connection between the matter and Canada. The Plaintiff was an American company, one of the Defendants was a Maltese company, the carrying vessel, which had not been arrested, was registered in Malta, the time charterer of the vessel was a Marshall Islands Company, and neither the actual nor intended ports of loading or discharge were in Canada. The ships agent in Houston had however advised the Plaintiff that their principals were Atlantic Maritime Inc. of Montreal. The Prothonotary held that the latter advice created a connection with Canada and relied upon United Nations v. Atlantic Seaways Corporation [1979] 2 F.C. 541 for the proposition that the court’s jurisdiction in respect of cargo claims extended beyond Canada. The Prothonotary did indicate that he might have considered ordering a stay in favour of Texas if the Defendants had been willing to waive the time bar defence.