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Legal Issues: Beta Inc. and Para Inc. Contract; Wonder Inc. Radiation Overdoses

Beta Inc. vs Para Inc. Contract Dispute

Beta Inc. is a Canadian corporation located in Ottawa Ontario.  It manufactures spare parts for aircraft engines and starts negotiations with a potential distributor located in New Delhi, India, called Para Inc.  

Early in the negotiations, on October 15, 2017, it sends an email indicating that its pricing will be in US dollars.  Almost two months later, on December 12, 2017, following further negotiations, it sends its standard template contract which obligates Para to buy 20,000 spare parts for $150,000, with the shipping date to be Mach 31, 2018.  Both parties sign the contract and exchange them by email. Unfortunately, through an error, Beta forgets to show that the pricing is in US dollars and the contract is silent as to which national currency forms the basis of the contract.

In accordance with the contract, Beta places the goods on the ship in Montreal on March 31 2018, at which point Para wires Beta payment of $150,000 in Canadian funds. By this time, the Canadian dollar has tumbled 15% against the US dollar. Beta says that this in unacceptable and halts the shipment.  Para threatens to sue as it needs the spare parts to honour a contract with the Government of India. 

What legal arguments can you identify?
How would you negotiate a settlement?
Is a settlement a good idea?

Second Scenario (5 marks)

Wonder Inc. manufactures cancer therapy medical devices that deliver radiation therapy to patients.  It learned in January if this year that 500 patients in a single hospital located in Ottawa Ontario received radiation overdoses that made them very sick. The hospital insists that the unit they bought was defective. Wonder believes that hospital staff did not follow instructions property and are responsible for the harm.

Identify the legal issues that are relevant to this scenario.

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