2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Friday, November 22, 2013

Corn delivery case turns on witness credibility

The Plaintiff company in this case from New Brunswick claimed that it had delivered 8 loads of wet corn to the Defendant company at harvest and that the Defendant company failed to pay for the corn.  The Plaintiff valued the claim at over $33,000.  The Defendant company denied that there was a contract calling for payment to the Plaintiff company at all.  Instead, the Defendant said that it had agreed to purchase the corn from an entirely different third party; the price to be paid for the corn was to be credited to the outstanding account the third party had with the Defendant company.

The judge at trial commented: "There are two starkly different versions of the facts of this case.  Ultimately, the disposition of this case will turn on findings of credibility."  The judge determined that neither the representative of the Plaintiff company nor the third party (an uncle and his nephew) were credible witnesses and found as follows:
Based on my findings of fact, it is clear that there never was a contract between the plaintiff and the defendant for the sale of corn. The arrangement was that the third party, KT, would deliver bulk wet corn to the plaintiff’s premises in Centreville to be picked up by the defendant, the value of which would be applied by the defendant to the third party’s outstanding account. There being no contract of purchase and sale between the plaintiff and the defendant, the plaintiff’s action is dismissed. Given that there is no liability on the defendant, the defendant’s third party claim is dismissed.
Read the decision at: Taylor’s Feed & Tires Ltd v Brennan Farms Ltd.