A group of Alberta energy companies and investors was awarded more than a million dollars in damages for a fire that temporarily shut down their processing plant.
Fifteen claimants, including Amoco Canada Petroleum Company Ltd., Encor Energy Corp. Inc. and Star Oil and Gas Ltd., owned wells in the area of the Eta Lake Gas Processing Facility near Drayton Valley.
In 1990, a fire destroyed a building at the Eta Lake plant, causing a shutdown of several months. Amoco et al alleged that responsibility for the fire lay with Propak Systems Ltd. and two of its employees, who installed and made adjustments to a new refrigeration package in the building.
This month, Justice B.E. Romaine of Calgary’s Court of Queen’s Bench agreed that Propak and one of its employees were “jointly and severally liable.” They were instructed to pay more than $1.47 million.
It turns out that our mothers were right – saying you’re sorry can be important.
In January of this year, Nick Weir, a business consultant, was ordered to pay $75,000 in damages to Vaquero Energy Ltd. and its president and CEO, Robert Waldner. Weir had been identified as the chat-room member who posted messages accusing Waldner of being “insane, retarded, managing the company for his own benefit” and comparing Waldner’s conduct to that of Hitler, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
This past month, Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench Justice C. A. Kent had the chance to meet with Weir again, to settle the matter of trial costs. Weir argued during this meeting that the court can’t force him to apologize. The judge disagreed, and ordered that Weir pay double the normal court costs.
CLEAN SWEEP FOR DELL
Two Alberta companies that duked it out in the court system over rights to a cleaning formula met again when one company requested the injunction against it not become permanent.
In 2001, Dell Chemical and Marketing Ltd. and 420708 Alberta Ltd. won a breach of intellectual property rights case, and were granted a temporary injunction preventing Aquasol International Inc., Dale Storey and other individuals from manufacturing CF2000, a metal cleaner.
In a recent application, Aquasol and the individuals fought against making the injunction permanent. Dell and 420708 in turn requested that Storey be found in contempt of court.
Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench Justice J. B. Veit ruled not to stop the injunction against Aquasol and the individuals. As for Storey, although the judge found no legal basis to find him guilty of contempt, the recent judgment says Storey “abused the process of this court by attempting to put evidence before the court which has previously been ruled inadmissable.” As a sanction against Storey, Dell and 420708 were awarded costs.
(Cases taken from recent Alberta court judgment records. Nicole Strandlund can be reached at email@example.com)