Addo v. OT Africa Line et al.

In Admiralty Practice, Pleadings on (Updated )

The Plaintiff was the owner of goods that were damaged when the container in which the goods were stowed was dropped at the Port of Antwerp. The Plaintiff commenced proceedings against various parties including the operator of the port where the container was dropped. That Defendant brought this motion to strike the Plaintiff’s claim on the basis that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action and, in the alternative, for security for costs. The Court held that the fact that the container was dropped in a foreign location did not deprive it of jurisdiction and that there were a number of significant factors tying the claim to Canada. The Court concluded that it was not “plain and obvious” that it was without jurisdiction and dismissed that part of the motion. With respect to the application for security for costs, the Court ordered that the Plaintiff post security of $5,000 because the Court was “concerned as to the plaintiff’s credibility”. A final matter that was considered in the course of the Reasons was the admissibility of an affidavit prepared by one of the plaintiffs’ solicitors. The Court reviewed Rule 82 of the Federal Court Rules noting that it was quite explicit and that case law had held that it was a violation of this rule for a lawyer to submit an affidavit when another lawyer in the same firm will argue the motion.