This case was heard in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
While clearing trees on his property, Mr. Marriott and a friend discovered a number of metal canisters that contained pesticide pellets. When the friend asked if he could take the canisters to recycle them, Mr. Marriott told him to pour the contents into a nearby dumpster. After the pellets had been poured into the dumpster, “an awful stink” emerged. Mr. Marriott eventually decided to pour water onto the pellets, hoping that it would dilute the smell. Instead, the contents of the dumpster exploded, and toxic gas was released into the air. Mr. Marriott called emergency services, and personnel were sent to evacuate the area and see to the proper disposal of the dumpster and its contents.
The Province of Nova Scotia sued Mr. Marriott for the costs that it had incurred while responding to the environmental emergency that Mr. Marriott had created. The Court held that the Province was entitled to recover its costs, but because the Province was responsible for delays in the court proceedings, the Court lowered the prejudgment interest that the Province could claim.