On a hot, sunny day, nothing beats a drink with ice in it.
However, alcohol with ice in it — while being shipped from Eastern Canada — is the basis of four civil lawsuits that were filed this month.
Government agencies in B.C. and Alberta are claiming that thousands of bottles sustained damage or were frozen while being shipped, and that they’re seeking $560,000 in general damages.
Launching the civil claims were B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C.’s Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Alberta’s Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission and a shipping company in B.C.
The lawsuits allege around 10,000 cartons or cases of alcohol were damaged because they were hauled in unheated containers during winter, not heated containers as requested.
The alcohol was reportedly shipped from Europe to Montreal, with the cartons then unloaded and reloaded for Western Canada.
L. Simard Transport, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. and Orient Overseasons Container Line Ltd. are listed as the defendants.
One statement of claims says on Dec. 11, 2021, 1,459 cartons of alcoholic beverages were picked up by Simard, which did not load the cargo “in heated trailers to protect them from freezing during the cross-Canada carriage, but instead loaded the cargoes in standard unheated dry trailers.”
During transit, the civil claims say that “the cargoes experienced below 0 C temperatures resulting in freezing of the wine and liquor in their bottles, causing freezing expansion of the wine and liquor and damage to the bottles and exposure of the contents to the atmosphere. The freezing of the wine and liquor caused damage to the bottles and carrying boxes.”
For that shipment, the plaintiffs were seeking general damages of $55,940.20.
- Another shipment on Nov. 10, 2021, had 1,939 cartons, with $111,610.71 in damages sought.
- Another shipment on Nov. 20, 2021, had 1,787 cartons, with $49,497.53 in damages sought.
- Another shipment on Nov. 30, 2021, had 3,404 cases of wine with $314,784.25 in damages sought.
- Another shipment on Dec. 21, 2021, had 1,789 cartons, with $38,097.25 in damages sought.
All four lawsuits were launched with lawyer Barry Oland doing so on behalf of the plaintiffs. The firm Oland Baxter describes itself as having a team of experienced maritime, transportation and personal injury lawyers.
The claims have not been proven.
Global News has reached out to L. Simard Transport, the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch and Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis.
The BCLDB replied saying it had no comment at this time.
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