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B.C. lawsuit seeks payback for 1,459 cases of frozen booze

The plaintiffs want $55,940 in damages and other costs.
Liquor store
A lawsuit alleges 1,459 cases of wine and liquor froze somewhere between France and B.C.

Alberta and B.C.’s liquor boards are among four plaintiffs suing two freight companies for allegedly allowing 1,459 cases of inbound wine and liquor to freeze while en route.

According to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna Dec. 13, the plaintiffs in the case are the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB); the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs of B.C.; Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLCC) and Container World Forwarding Services Inc.

The defendants in the case are L. Simard Transport Ltd. (Simard) of Montreal and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited of Hong Kong.

The suit seeks $55,940 in damages for the damaged wine and liquor, which froze somewhere between France and B.C.

The claim said Container World and Simard had a contract to receive alcohol cargo at the Port of Montreal and transport that cargo to Simard Montreal warehouses. From there, it was to be reloaded to dry containers and transported by vehicle or rail to Container World's warehouses in Richmond, B.C., among other locations.

Part of the contract stipulated use of heated trailers for cargo transport to B.C. and Alberta in cold winter months, the claim said.

At some point around Dec. 11, 2021, Orient Overseas released a shipping container containing the alcohol to Simard for shipment to B.C., according to the suit. 

The claim asserts Simard did not use heated trailers to transport the cargo, and that somewhere across Canada, it was subjected to sub-zero temperatures that caused the wine and liquor to expand, damaging the bottles and carrying boxes.

The suit also seeks pre-judgment interests and costs of the action.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

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