Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund Wins Summary Judgement Motion Against Tracey Dodds

For those of you who’ve been following the saga of the Farley Mowatt, the former Sea Shepard Society boat that was abandoned in Shelburne, NS, here’s a bit of news for you. On February 4, the Federal Court ordered the ship’s owner, Tracey Dodds, to pay $839,863.02 to the Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund ("SOPF"). Those costs were incurred by the Coast guard when the ship sank at Shelburne’s wharf in June, 2015. The SOPF subsequently reimbursed the Coast Guard and brought the subrogated claim against Mr. Dodds. It filed a summary judgment motion claiming there was no genuine issue for trial.

The Federal Court agreed with that view. Although Mr. Dodds argued that he was not the owner of the ship, he put no evidence forward in support of that assertion. Similarly, the court found that his argument that he was not liable for the ship because it was under arrest at the time of sinking was clearly untenable as a result of Federal Court Rule 483(1) which provides that:

483 (1) Subject to subsection (2), possession of, and responsibility for, property arrested under subsection 482(1) does not vest in the sheriff but continues in the person in possession of the property immediately before the arrest. [emphasis mine]

Mr. Dodds has been involved in a number of lawsuits relating to numerous abandoned vessels in Nova Scotia - the Federal Court issued a companion decision relating to the MV "Ryan Atlantic" on the same date.  It will be interesting to see if the SOPF recovers any money.

The decision can be found here: https://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/362354/index.do

The companion decision can be found here: https://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/362393/index.do

The Farley Mowat prior to sinking 

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