In Desgagnés Transport Inc. v. Wärtsilä Canada Inc., the Supreme Court of Canada addressed the relationship between non-statutory law and federalism in the context of Canadian maritime law. The dispute turned on whether the Civil Code of Québec or non-statutory federal maritime law governed a latent defect in engine parts that a Dutch company and its Canadian division (“Wärtsilä”) had sold to a Canadian shipping company located in Quebec (“TDI”). If federal maritime law governed, Wärtsilä’s liability would be limited to 250,000. If Quebec civil law governed, TDI would recover slightly more than $5.6 million. All nine justices agreed that Quebec civil law governed the dispute.
Hanley, Sean and Pierce, Sean.
"Of Dominant Tides: Desgagnés Transport Inc. v. Wärtsilä Canada Inc. and the Growing Acceptance of Provincial Jurisdiction in Maritime Matters."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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