Rainbow

Rainbow

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Claims that canola seed was defective are going to be difficult

In a recent decision dismissing a claim for damages related to defective canola seed, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench has commented on the difficulties inherent in this type of claim. After finding that Saskatchewan's Consumer Protection Act did not apply to the seed because it had been purchased in Manitoba, Justice M.D. Acton then commented about the number of actions that have been commenced involving alleged defects in the quality of seed. Acton noted, however, that the evidence has been that the many sensitivities of canola seed include: slow germination when seeded in cool damp soil; susceptibility to frost at an early stage; susceptibility to drought and heat at an early stage; inability to emerge through compacted or crusted clay soils caused by heavy rains immediately after seeding; poor competition with weeds at an early stage; susceptibility to disease and insect infestation. In the case at bar, experts for both sides advised that numerous factors other than seed quality may have caused the failure of the seed to produce a viable and acceptable canola crop. That evidence spelled the end for the claim. The Court was unable to find, on a balance of probabilities, that the quality of the seed was the cause of the crop failure alleged.

Negrave v. Pioneer Grain Company Limited, 2009 SKQB 492
http://www.canlii.org/en/sk/skqb/doc/2009/2009skqb492/2009skqb492.html