Marine Liability Act (S.C. 2001, c. 6)

Assented to 2001-05-10

Marine Liability Act

S.C. 2001, c. 6

Assented to 2001-05-10

An Act respecting marine liability, and to validate certain by-laws and regulations

SUMMARY

This enactment consolidates certain rules of Canadian maritime law governing the civil liability of shipowners for loss of life, personal injuries and damage to property.

Part 1 modernizes and extends the scope of the fatal accidents regime formerly in the Canada Shipping Act.

Part 2 settles the rules for the apportionment of liability among parties at fault.

Part 3 continues in force in Canada an international convention governing the limitation of liablity for maritime claims together with certain statutory provisions.

Part 4 implements the regime of shipowners’ liability to passengers set out in another international convention.

Part 5 re-enacts and revises the provisions of the Carriage of Goods by Water Act respecting the application of the Hague-Visby Rules in Canada and the eventual implementation of the Hamburg Rules.

Part 6 continues the existing regime governing liability and compensation for maritime oil pollution.

Part 7 validates certain by-laws relating to harbour dues tariffs and certain regulations relating to pilotage tariffs.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Marine Liability Act.

INTERPRETATION

Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

“Admiralty Court”

« Cour d’amirauté »

“Admiralty Court” means the Federal Court.

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Transport.

HER MAJESTY

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

PART 1PERSONAL INJURIES AND FATALITIES

Interpretation and Application

Definition of “dependant”

 In this Part, “dependant”, in relation to an injured or deceased person, means an individual who was one of the following in relation to the injured or deceased person at the time the cause of action arose, in the case of an injured person, or at the time of death, in the case of a deceased person:

  • (a) a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandson, granddaughter, adopted son or daughter, or an individual for whom the injured or deceased person stood in the place of a parent;

  • (b) a spouse, or an individual who was cohabiting with the injured or deceased person in a conjugal relationship having so cohabited for a period of at least one year; or

  • (c) a brother, sister, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, adoptive father or mother, or an individual who stood in the place of a parent.

Marginal note:Application of this Part

 This Part applies in respect of a claim that is made or a remedy that is sought under or by virtue of Canadian maritime law, as defined in the Federal Court Act, or any other law of Canada in relation to any matter coming within the class of navigation and shipping.

Liability to Dependants

Marginal note:Damages for personal injury
  •  (1) If a person is injured by the fault or neglect of another under circumstances that entitle the person to recover damages, the dependants of the injured person may maintain an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for their loss resulting from the injury against the person from whom the injured person is entitled to recover.

  • Marginal note:Damages for death

    (2) If a person dies by the fault or neglect of another under circumstances that would have entitled the person, if not deceased, to recover damages, the dependants of the deceased person may maintain an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for their loss resulting from the death against the person from whom the deceased person would have been entitled to recover.

  • Marginal note:Inclusion in damages

    (3) The damages recoverable by a dependant of an injured or deceased person may include

    • (a) an amount to compensate for the loss of guidance, care and companionship that the dependant could reasonably have expected to receive from the injured or deceased person if the injury or death had not occurred; and

    • (b) any amount to which a public authority may be subrogated in respect of payments consequent on the injury or death that are made to or for the benefit of the injured or deceased person or the dependant.

  • Marginal note:Excluded factors

    (4) In the assessment of damages, any amount paid or payable on the death of the deceased person or any future premiums payable under a contract of insurance shall not be taken into account.

  • Marginal note:Apportionment

    (5) The damages recoverable by a dependant are subject to any apportionment made under Part 2.

Marginal note:Multiple dependants

 Damages may be awarded to dependants in proportion to their loss resulting from the injury or death, and the amount so awarded shall be divided among the dependants in the shares determined by the court.

Marginal note:Payment into court

 A person against whom an action is commenced under this Part may pay into court an amount of money as compensation for the fault or neglect to all persons entitled to damages without specifying the shares into which it is to be divided.

Marginal note:Postponement of distribution

 The court may in its discretion postpone the distribution of any amount to which a person under the age of eighteen or under a legal disability is entitled, may order its payment from the amount paid into court under section 8 and may make any other order that is in the interest of that person.

Marginal note:Beneficiaries of action
  •  (1) An action under this Part shall be for the benefit of the dependants of the injured or deceased person.

  • Marginal note:By whom action is brought

    (2) An action under subsection 6(2) shall be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased person, but if no action is brought within six months after that person’s death or if there is no executor or administrator, the action

    • (a) may be brought by any or all of the dependants of the deceased person; and

    • (b) shall be subject to the same procedure, with any adaptations that may be required, as if it were brought by an executor or administrator.

Marginal note:Parties to action

 A person who commences an action under this Part shall

  • (a) take reasonable steps to identify and join as parties to the action all persons who are entitled or who claim to be entitled to damages as dependants of the injured or deceased person; and

  • (b) state in the statement of claim the grounds for the claim of each person on whose behalf the action is commenced.

Marginal note:One action for same cause

 Claims for the benefit of the dependants of an injured or deceased person may be made in more than one action but, on the application of any party, actions for the benefit of the dependants of the same injured or deceased person may be consolidated in one action or tried together in the same court of competent jurisdiction.

Marginal note:Actions by different claimants

 If actions are commenced for the benefit of two or more persons claiming to be entitled to damages under this Part as dependants of an injured or deceased person, the court may make any order or determination that it considers just.

Marginal note:Limitation period
  •  (1) No action may be commenced under subsection 6(1) later than two years after the cause of action arose.

  • Marginal note:Limitation period

    (2) No action may be commenced under subsection 6(2) later than two years after the death of the deceased person.

PART 2APPORTIONMENT OF LIABILITY

Interpretation and Application

Definition of “earnings”

  •  (1) In this Part, “earnings” includes freight, passage money and hire.

  • Marginal note:Meaning of loss caused by ship

    (2) For the purposes of this Part, a reference to loss caused by the fault or neglect of a ship shall be construed as including

    • (a) any salvage expenses consequent on that fault or neglect; and

    • (b) any other expenses consequent on that fault or neglect and recoverable at law by way of damages, other than a loss described in subsection 17(3).

Marginal note:Application of this Part

 This Part applies in respect of a claim that is made or a remedy that is sought under or by virtue of Canadian maritime law, as defined in the Federal Court Act, or any other law of Canada in relation to any matter coming within the class of navigation and shipping.

General

Marginal note:Apportionment based on degree of fault
  •  (1) Where loss is caused by the fault or neglect of two or more persons or ships, their liability is proportionate to the degree to which they are respectively at fault or negligent and, if it is not possible to determine different degrees of fault or neglect, their liability is equal.

  • Marginal note:Joint and several liability

    (2) Subject to subsection (3), the persons or ships that are at fault or negligent are jointly and severally liable to the persons or ships suffering the loss but, as between themselves, they are liable to make contribution to each other or to indemnify each other in the degree to which they are respectively at fault or negligent.

  • Marginal note:Exception — loss of ships and property

    (3) Where, by the fault or neglect of two or more ships, loss is caused to one or more of those ships, their cargo or other property on board, or loss of earnings results to one or more of those ships, their liability to make good such loss is not joint and several.

  • Marginal note:Persons responsible

    (4) In this section, a reference to liability of a ship that is at fault or negligent includes liability of any person responsible for the navigation and management of the ship or any other person responsible for the fault or neglect of the ship.

Marginal note:Claim for contribution or indemnity

 A person who is entitled to claim contribution or indemnity under this Part from another person or ship that is or may be liable in respect of a loss may do so

  • (a) by adding the other person or ship as a party to a proceeding pending before a court or an administrative or arbitral tribunal of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure or arbitration agreement;

  • (b) by commencing a proceeding in a court or an administrative or arbitral tribunal of competent jurisdiction; or

  • (c) if the other person or ship has settled with the person suffering the loss, by commencing or continuing a proceeding before a court or an administrative or arbitral tribunal of competent jurisdiction.

Marginal note:Adjustment of settlement

 The court or administrative or arbitral tribunal in which a proceeding is continued or commenced under paragraph 18(c) may deny the award of damages or adjust the amount awarded if it is not satisfied that the settlement was reasonable.

Marginal note:Limitation period
  •  (1) No claim may be made under section 18 later than one year after the date of judgment in the proceeding or the date of the settlement agreement.

  • Marginal note:Claims not defeated

    (2) A claim under section 18 is not defeated by any period of limitation or prescription, or by any requirement for notice, that is applicable to the original claim in respect of which contribution or indemnity is sought.

 
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