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Company wins appeal in dispute over potatoes shipped from P.E.I. to Venezuela

A company involved in shipping seed potatoes from P.E.I. to Venezuela has successfully appealed a court order to pay more than $79,000. SUBMITTED PHOTO
A company involved in shipping seed potatoes from P.E.I. to Venezuela has successfully appealed a court order to pay more than $79,000. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A company involved in shipping seed potatoes from P.E.I. to Venezuela has successfully appealed a court order to pay more than $79,000.

In a recent decision, two of three P.E.I. Court of Appeal judges agreed to vacate a summary judgment order for HZPC Americas Corporation to pay Havanlee Farms Inc.

P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie issued the initial order in January ruling that HZPC Americas Corporation must pay $79,156.75 US along with costs.

The dispute involved more than $137,000 worth of potatoes the Summerside-based Havanlee Farms supplied HZPC Americas, which were then shipped to Venezuela.  

HZPC Americas paid $57,942 US to Havanlee Farms after the first shipment passed quarantine in Venezuela.

Problems arose over the nature of the agreement between the two parties.

Havanlee Farms said HZPC Americas informed it all the potatoes passed quarantine and the company should have been paid for everything it shipped.

HZPC disputed that claim and said two of three shipments didn’t pass quarantine and had to be disposed of at a cost of $33,114.33.   

P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie found that based on the evidence or lack of evidence he was satisfied the potatoes were either never quarantined or if they were, those potatoes were released.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice David Jenkins said Cheverie’s determination of the nature of the contract should be set aside because it was made without taking into account the terms of the agreement both parties signed.

Justice John Mitchell, writing the dissenting opinion, said he couldn’t find Cheverie made a palpable and overriding error.

Mitchell wrote that in his view the case turned on whether or not the potatoes passed quarantine, which meant the nature of the contract made no difference.

 

 

Ryan.Ross@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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