2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Saskatchewan farmer loses appeal over Roundup Ready canola that wasn't Roundup Ready

The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan has dismissed the appeal of Lawrence Scraba of a decision dismissing his claim for damages over canola seed.  In 2005, Scraba had purchased from Sharpe's Soil Services Ltd. (the defendant in the action and the respondent on the appeal) about 270 acres' worth of Nexera 828 IP canola seed.  Scraba was of the understanding that the seed was Roundup Ready, but it was not.  Scraba spayed the crop with Roundup "with the inevitable result that the herbicide killed all of the Nexera 828 canola plants". 

Scraba sued Sharpe's claiming that the canola seed was not fit for purpose or not of merchantable quality, or both, and, in the alternative, that his loss of crop was the result of Sharpe's Soil Services Ltd.'s negligence or breach of duty, or both, in selling canola seed that was not Roundup Ready.  The trial judge dismissed all of these claims and granted Sharpe's judgment in respect of a debt owing for the purchase of the seed.  The trial judge concluded, and the Court of Appeal agreed, that Scraba had received what seed he had asked for (what was required to fulfill a grower's contract he had in place) and, in the circumstances, Sharpe's did not have a duty to warn Scraba that the seed was not Roundup Ready.  The trial judge had found that Scraba had never communicated to Sharpe's that he wanted Roundup Ready seed (only the seed identified in the IP grower's contract).

Read the trial decision at: Scraba v Sharpe's Soil Services Ltd. Trial.

Read the appeal decision at: Scraba v Sharpe's Soil Services Ltd. Appeal.