This case was heard in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
Superline Fuels Inc. entered into a contract to supply an install a domestic oil tank, and it then hired a subcontractor, Mr. Buchanan, to carry out the work. About nine months after the oil tank had been installed, a leak was discovered. The homeowner sued Superline Fuels, who in turn sued Mr. Buchanan. Before Superline Fuels initiated legal proceedings against Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Buchanan had declared bankruptcy, and soon after Superline Fuels initiated the legal proceedings against him, Mr. Buchanan was granted an absolute discharge from bankruptcy. Superline Fuels applied to the Court to determine whether Mr. Buchanan’s absolute discharge made it impossible for the company to recover its losses from Mr. Buchanan’s insurer, Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co.
After considering the relevant law and legal principles, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia held that the absolute discharge could not prevent Superline Fuels from continuing its legal proceedings against Mr. Buchanan in the hope of recovering its losses from Mr. Buchanan’s insurer. When Mr. Buchanan and his insurer appealed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the Court held that although the lower court had interpreted certain court orders incorrectly, it had not erred in its interpretation of the relevant law. The Court therefore upheld the lower court’s decision.
To read about this case in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, go to Buchanan v. Superline Fuels Inc., 2006 NSSC 51 (CanLII).
To read about a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, go to Thomas W. Buchanan and Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, a body corporate v. Superline Fuels Inc., 2007 CanLII 55340 (SCC).