The court hears arguments in case #28472, ECU-Line N.V. v. Z.I. Pompey Industrie, et al. on October 2, 2002.
In 1997, ECU-Line N.V. was responsible for delivering a shipment of specialized photographic equipment from Z.I. Pompey Industrie in Antwerp, Belgium, to Polyfibron Technologies Inc. in Seattle, Washington. The cargo was unloaded in Montreal and subsequently carried by train to Seattle. Polyfibron alleged that the cargo was damaged while in transit from Montreal and sued ECU-Line N.V. in the Federal Court of Canada for the damage. ECU-Line N.V. argued that any damage had been caused by the respondents, third parties, or events for which it was not responsible. It also moved to have the proceedings in the Federal Court stayed, on the basis that the bill of lading required disputes to be settled exclusively by the courts of Antwerp, Belgium. The Federal Court denied this motion, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal. ECU-Line N.V. is appealing that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lawyers George J. Pollack and Jean-Marie Fontaine present arguments on behalf of Z.I. Pompey Industrie, et al. Lawyer H. Peter Swanson presents arguments on behalf of ECU-Line N.V.