TAM International Inc. v. The " MCP Altona"

In Admiralty Practice on (Updated )

Précis: Costs were awarded against a party that withdrew a claim against proceeds of sale.

The defendant vessel was forced to return to Vancouver after a cargo of yellowcake uranium spilled in the hold of the vessel. The vessel was arrested upon its arrival by the plaintiff TAM, one of the voyage charterers, as well as by another claimant. Other parties filed caveats against release including the mortgagee. Eventually the ship was sold by court order. Subsequent to the sale but after some additional steps had been taken by competing claimants to investigate TAM’s claims, TAM withdrew its claim to the proceeds of sale. The mortgagee of the vessel sought costs against TAM in the amount of $2,000.

Decision: The application was allowed, in part.

Held: The motions Judge noted that the mortgagee would probably be entitled to $2,000 in costs in a taxation but also noted that the Court should not discourage the discontinuance of unmeritorious proceedings by penalizing parties in costs. The motions Judge ordered TAM to pay $1,000 in costs.