Van Duren v. Chandler Marine Inc.

In Ship Building and Repair on (Updated )

The plaintiffs contracted with the defendant for the building of a vessel. Upon completion, the vessel was sailed from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to the island of St. Eustatius in the Netherlands Antilles. The evidence established the vessel experienced a multitude of problems during the voyage and the plaintiffs brought this action in contract and negligence against the shipbuilder. The plaintiffs’ first argument was that it was not economical to repair the vessel and presented expert evidence to this effect. The Court did not accept the expert evidence. The Court did, however, find that the defendant had breached the building contract and was negligent. The damages included a claim for mental distress which was allowed in the amount of $15,000. The plaintiffs’ claim for lost income was disallowed on the grounds, inter alia, that it was not foreseeable.