Identify as many legal issues as you can from the following fact situation. For each issue, refer to any applicable case law or statutes that might assist in resolving the problem. Where you are able to come to a conclusion on one ground, but see that the question also raises other issues, please complete your answer by discussing the other issues.
Congratulations on your appointment as manager of operations for Trans-Global Corporation, a provincially-regulated corporation with head offices in Vancouver, British Columbia. As you settle into your new office, your assistant tells you that there are is a problematic file on your desk that you might want to look through sooner rather than later.
You discover that Trans-Global has some issues with special metal tubing that it had shipped by ocean carrier from the United Kingdom to be shipped to their Ontario warehouse. Trans-Global had ordered sixteen (16) tubes at $75,000 per tube, packed in four (4) huge containers – four (4) tubes to a container. Each tube weighed 1000 kg. They arrived 90 days ago at the Port of Montreal, from there they were loaded onto a rail car and shipped by CN Rail to Ontario, where Trans-Global eastern distribution centre is located. Unfortunately, due to a rail strike, the tubes arrived 11 days ago at the CN railyard in Ontario. The goods were then picked up by Trans-Global’s truck driver and delivered to the distribution centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario 3 days ago.
While driving across Ontario, the driver, Linda was charged under section 84.1 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act because a set of dual wheels flew off the truck while in transit. The files include quite a bit of information relative to training, testing and maintenance of truck wheels. Linda was quite upset that she would be personally responsible for this infraction. In addition, she had previously tried to raise concerns about the unsafe conditions of her truck and had been told by her manager that she should be lucky to have a job and she could quit anytime if she didn’t like the conditions of work. This manager had made derogatory comments to her previously about taking a job that rightfully belonged to a male driver, who could take the long hours and physical rigours of the job. He had denied her requests to avoid long haul trips so that she would balance her child-care obligations and he’d also made some sexual jokes around her. Linda decided that this trip was too much for her and decided to quit. She has been doing research online and wants to pursue making a claim to the Ontario Ministry of Labour or the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and/or both and is unsure of what course of action to take.
When the tubes finally arrived at the distribution centre, the tubes had significant rust and showed signs of contact with salty water. Trans-Global’s engineer has concluded that the coils are now good only for scrap. You review the bill of lading that is on file. You see that the bill of lading:
- Is a clean bill of lading
- Does not include a declaration of value
- States that all disputes should be resolved by the UK courts in the United Kingdom
Prepare a legal memorandum outlining:
- What is the constitutional issue that Linda may face when making her employment and human rights complaints in Ontario; (module 1)
- What kind of regulatory offence is the charge under section 84.1 of the Ontario HighwayTraffic Act, and what defences, if any, are available. (module 3)
- whether Linda will be obligated to pay the fine if found guilty. (module 3)
- Any issues relating to the description of the goods and the preparation of the bill of lading (module 4 and 5)
- The relevant legislation or international treaty that applies and whether carrier negligence can be proved (module 8)
- the relevant notice requirements to preserve Trans-Global’s claim and what other limitations periods might apply; (module 8)
- Which is the proper jurisdiction for resolution of the dispute. (module 8)
- The quantum of damages that Trans-Global will be able to recoup. (module 8)
- The chances of success based on the merits of Trans-Global’s obligations under occupational health and safety and human rights (module 10)
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