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

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Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2021-04-01. Previous Versions

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

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

Admiralty Court means the Federal Court. (Cour d’amirauté)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Transport. (ministre)

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

Marginal note: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 Courts Act, or any other law of Canada in relation to any matter coming within the class of navigation and shipping.

  • 2001, c. 6, s. 5
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 182

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 Courts Act, or any other law of Canada in relation to any matter coming within the class of navigation and shipping.

  • 2001, c. 6, s. 16
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 182

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.

Marginal note:Last clear chance

 This Part applies notwithstanding that a person who suffered a loss had the opportunity to avoid the loss and failed to do so.

Marginal note:Contractual rights

 The rights conferred by this Part on a person or ship that is found liable or that settles a claim are subject to any existing contract between that person or ship and a person from whom contribution or indemnity is claimed.

Limitation of Time

Marginal note:Limitation period for claim or lien

  •  (1) No action may be commenced later than two years after the loss or injury arose to enforce a claim or lien against a ship in collision or its owners in respect of any loss to another ship, its cargo or other property on board, or any loss of earnings of that other ship, or for damages for loss of life or personal injury suffered by any person on board that other ship, caused by the fault or neglect of the former ship, whether that ship is wholly or partly at fault or negligent.

  • Marginal note:Extension of time by court

    (2) A court having jurisdiction to deal with an action referred to in subsection (1)

    • (a) may, in accordance with the rules of court, extend the period referred to in that subsection to the extent and on the conditions that it thinks fit; and

    • (b) shall, if satisfied that there has not during that period been a reasonable opportunity of arresting the ship within the jurisdiction of the court, or within the territorial waters of the country to which the claimant’s ship belongs or in which the claimant resides or has their principal place of business, extend that period to an extent sufficient to provide that reasonable opportunity.

  • Definition of owner

    (3) In this section, owner, in relation to a ship, includes any person responsible for the navigation and management of the ship or any other person responsible for the fault or neglect of the ship.

PART 3Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in this Part.

Convention

Convention means the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, concluded at London on November 19, 1976, as amended by the Protocol, Articles 1 to 15 of which Convention are set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 and Article 18 of which is set out in Part 2 of that Schedule. (Convention)

maritime claim

maritime claim means a claim described in Article 2 of the Convention for which a person referred to in Article 1 of the Convention is entitled to limitation of liability. (créance maritime)

passenger

passenger means

  • (a) a person carried on board a ship in circumstances described in paragraph 2(a) or (b) of Article 7 of the Convention;

  • (b) a participant in an adventure tourism activity referred to in subsection 37.1(1);

  • (c) a person carried on board a vessel propelled manually by paddles or oars and operated for a commercial or public purpose; and

  • (d) a sail trainee. (passager)

Protocol

Protocol means the Protocol of 1996 to amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, concluded at London on May 2, 1996, Articles 8 and 9 of which are set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1. (Protocole)

unit of account

unit of account means a special drawing right issued by the International Monetary Fund. (unités de compte)

  • 2001, c. 6, s. 24
  • 2009, c. 21, s. 1

Marginal note:Extended meaning of expressions

  •  (1) For the purposes of this Part and Articles 1 to 15 of the Convention,

    • (a) ship means any vessel or craft designed, used or capable of being used solely or partly for navigation, without regard to method or lack of propulsion, and includes

      • (i) a ship in the process of construction from the time that it is capable of floating, and

      • (ii) a ship that has been stranded, wrecked or sunk and any part of a ship that has broken up,

      but does not include an air cushion vehicle or a floating platform constructed for the purpose of exploring or exploiting the natural resources or the subsoil of the sea-bed;

    • (b) the definition shipowner in paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Convention shall be read without reference to the word “seagoing” and as including any person who has an interest in or possession of a ship from and including its launching; and

    • (c) the expression “carriage by sea” in paragraph 1(b) of Article 2 of the Convention shall be read as “carriage by water”.

  • Marginal note:Inconsistency

    (2) In the event of any inconsistency between sections 28 to 34 of this Act and Articles 1 to 15 of the Convention, those sections prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

 
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