Facts: The defendants contracted with the plaintiff for transport of the defendants’ yacht from Florida to Canada. Pursuant to a booking note, which contained terms regarding the accuracy of the weight of the yacht by its owner and dead freight charges for any delay in loading the yacht, the defendants stated the yacht’s weight was 90 metric tonnes. The booking note also contained terms of payment which included 25% deposit upon execution of the note and the remainder due upon loading. At the loading port, the plaintiff was unable to load the yacht onto a larger transport vessel as the weight of the yacht exceeded the 120 metric tonne lifting capacity of the larger vessel’s cranes. The plaintiff arranged to remove fuel from the yacht and did remove some 7 metric tonnes of fuel, and the yacht was then capable of being loaded onto the larger vessel. At no time did the defendants pay the deposit or the remaining amount. The yacht was transported to Canada as agreed and arrested by the plaintiff upon arrival in Nanaimo. The plaintiff then brought a motion for summary trial and judgment for the amount owing for the transport under the booking note, which was $164,074.00 USD.
Decision: Order for summary trial and summary judgment granted.
Held: The defendants contended that the terms of the booking note were unclear, that the doctrine of contra proferentum applied and that the defendants were induced into the booking note by negligent misrepresentations of the plaintiff that the weight of the yacht was not an issue, all of which were rejected by the Court. The Court looked to the booking note terms and found it was clear it was the sole responsibility of the defendant to certify the weight of the yacht. The defendants were awarded a small claim for fuel removed which was set-off against the total amount awarded to the plaintiff.