McDonald v. Queen of the North (Ship)

In Carriage of Passengers by Sea on (Updated )

This is the final reported decision arising out of the sinking of the Queen of the North. The issue in this matter was whether punitive and aggravated damages are recoverable in a wrongful death action brought by dependents pursuant to the Marine Liability Act and the Athens Convention. The Court extensively reviewed the case law relating to the recovery of punitive and aggravated damages under wrongful death statutes. The Court concluded that claims under the Athens Convention and the Marine Liability Act are compensatory in nature and do not permit the recovery of punitive or exemplary damages. The Court further held that the Marine Liability Act did not permit recovery of aggravated damages. The Court also considered and declined a request by the Plaintiff to reform Canadian maritime law by permitting claims for punitive and aggravated damages in these circumstances.