Blundon v. Storm, 20 DLR (3d) 292

JudgeMartland, Judson, Ritchie, Hall and Pigeon, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateJune 28, 1971
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations20 DLR (3d) 292;1971 CanLII 165 (SCC);19 DLR (3d) 480;19 DLR (3d) 169;[1971] SCR 680;1971 CanLII 158 (SCC);AZ-72111031;[1972] SCR 175;1971 CanLII 4 (SCC);1971 CanLII 167 (SCC);[1971] ACS no 112;20 DLR (3d) 542;[1972] SCR 303;[1972] SCR 244;20 DLR (3d) 413;[1972] SCR 268;71 DTC 5252;71 DTC 5255;[1972] SCR 319;[1972] SCR 160;1971 CanLII 159 (SCC);[19

Blundon v. Storm (1971), 1 N.S.R. 1965-69 310 (SCC)

MLB headnote

Blundon et al. v. Storm

Indexed As: Blundon et al. v. Storm

Supreme Court of Canada

Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Hall and Pigeon, JJ.

June 28, 1971.

Summary:

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal and restored the decision of the trial judge allowing the plaintiffs' action and awarding the plaintiffs 25% of the proceeds of sunken treasure discovered by the defendant.

The plaintiffs and the defendant were partners under a written agreement for a joint venture to find the treasure from a specific ancient shipwreck. The partnership held a licence to search under the Treasure Trove Act and a purported exclusive right to search from the Receiver of the Wrecks under the Canada Shipping Act. After initial unsuccessful searches, the plaintiffs were inactive and showed lack of interest for a period of four years. The defendant, desiring to enter another partnership for the same purpose, gave written notice of termination of the partnership agreement. The defendant then acquired a licence to search under the Treasure Trove Act and from the Receiver of Wrecks. The defendant was subsequently successful in finding the treasure.

The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the finding of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Appeal Division, that the notice was insufficient to terminate the partnership. The Supreme Court of Canada reversed the finding of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Appeal Division, that the plaintiffs were guilty of laches in protecting their rights under the agreement after the notice of termination was given. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the plaintiffs never accepted or acquiesced in the defendant's assertion that he possessed the sole rights to salvage. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the defendant held the treasure for the benefit of all of the original partners.

Partnership - Topic 8044

Partnership - Termination - By notice - Sufficiency of notice - Laches - Partnership for a joint venture to search for treasure - Unilateral notice of termination given by defendant - Whether plaintiffs (original partners) guilty of laches - Notice ineffective to terminate partnership and rights of plaintiffs - Defendant subsequently found treasure - Supreme Court of Canada awarded plaintiffs 25% of partnership property.

Cases Noticed:

Lindsay Petroleum Co. v. Hurd (1874), L.R. 5 P.C. 221, appld.

Erlanger v. New Sombrero Phosphate Co. (1878), 3 A.C. 1218, appld.

Farrell v. Manchester (1908), 40 S.C.R. 339, refd to.

Harris v. Lindeborg, [1931] 1 D.L.R. 945; [1931] S.C.R. 235, refd to.

Canada Trust Co. v. Lloyd, [1968] S.C.R. 300; 63 W.W.R. 436; 66 D.L.R.(2d) 722, refd to.

Cowell v. Watts (1850), 2 H. & Tw. 224; 47 E.R. 1665, dist.

Clegg v. Edmondson (1857), 8 De G.M. & G. 787; 44 E.R. 593, dist.

Rhodenizer v. Rhodenizer (1953), 31 M.P.R. 127, refd to.

Senhouse v. Christian (1795), 52 E.R. 387, refd to.

Norway v. Rose, 19 Ves. 144, refd to.

Prendergast v. Turton (1843), 13 L.J.Ch. 268, refd to.

Clarke v. Hart, 6 H.L.C. 633, dist.

Clements v. Hall, 44 E.R. 954, refd to.

Garden Gully United Quartz Mining Co. v. McLister (1875), 1 A.C. 39, dist.

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Shipping Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 29 [now R.S.C. 1970, c. S-9], sect. 500, sect. 501, sect. 503.

Partnership Registration Act, R.S.N.S. 1954, c. 213 [now Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act, R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 205], sect. 19(1).

Partnership Act, R.S.N.S. 1954, c. 212 [now R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 224], sect. 28, sect. 34.

Treasure Trove Act, R.S.N.S. 1954, c. 299 [now R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 314].

Counsel:

[None disclosed].

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