Universal Paper Products Ltd. of Vancouver consigned three-and-a-half boxcar loads of goods to…

Universal Paper Products Ltd. of Vancouver consigned
three-and-a-half boxcar loads of goods to RapidMovve Transport Co. to take the
goods from Vancouver to Le Havre, France. RapidMovve would normally have made
direct arrangements with Canadian Atlantic Railways (CAR) for the
Vancouver–Montreal leg, but because there was a half-carload involved, they
engaged Railshippers Inc. to put together the Vancouver–Montreal leg.
Railshippers could get a better rate from CAR as they specialized in making up
full carloads from an assortment of partial carloads. RapidMovve engaged
Maritime Containerways
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Universal Paper Products Ltd. of Vancouver consigned
three-and-a-half boxcar loads of goods to RapidMovve Transport Co. to take the
goods from Vancouver to Le Havre, France. RapidMovve would normally have made
direct arrangements with Canadian Atlantic Railways (CAR) for the
Vancouver–Montreal leg, but because there was a half-carload involved, they
engaged Railshippers Inc. to put together the Vancouver–Montreal leg.
Railshippers could get a better rate from CAR as they specialized in making up
full carloads from an assortment of partial carloads. RapidMovve engaged
Maritime Containerways to ship from Montreal to France, and a French trucking
firm for local delivery in France. All would have gone well, had it not been
for a derailment of the CAR train in Northern Ontario. Unseasonable rains had
washed out a section of track and, in the dark, the train was derailed. Most of
the product was probably in good shape after the accident, but unfortunately
one of the welding crew pressed into service by CAR to clear the blockage of
the main line in the emergency ignited the contents of one car as he cut away
wreckage. The flames spread to the other cars, destroying $60,000 of paper
products. Three weeks later, Universal Paper became frustrated that RapidMovve could
still only provide a garbled, contradictory explanation of what had happened. A
newspaper account noted that there had been no salvage of any freight from the
wreck. Universal Paper, knowing only that they had delivered goods to
RapidMovve, and that none had arrived in France, sued RapidMovve for the value
of the goods. Identify and discuss the legal issues raised in this case and the
liability (if any) of the parties. Render a decision.

»

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