Legal Corner

In previous articles we have pointed out the significance and importance of having a fully executed Bill of Lading (BOL). Having a BOL completed properly typically provides the carrier with protection with respect to the carriage of goods and also the possibility of damages. Most importantly, carriers can rely on the limitation of damages to $2 per pound.

However, carriers need to beware that the limitation provisions will not always apply.

First, in one situation out of Alberta, a carrier was moving a “muscle car” (Corvette) that had great value. Before moving the car, the carrier was given a copy of the bill of sale setting out the real value, but no valid BOL was ever completed. In addition, the shipper told the carrier that the car was rare and made a specific request that the vehicle be transported inside an enclosed van. Unfortunately, during the course of transportation, another car being transported in the van broke loose and smashed into the Corvette. In the lawsuit that followed, the carrier attempted to rely on limitation of liability provisions set out by Alberta law and deemed to be included in every contract of carriage that the carrier could not be required to pay any amount greater than $2 per pound if no higher value is indicated on the BOL.

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