One Ocean facing lawsuits over alleged failure to pay for services | Squamish Chief

One Ocean facing lawsuits over alleged failure to pay for services

Company says it has signed with partner, but unclear who it may be

As One Ocean Expeditions faces more financial challenges in the form of lawsuits demanding payment for work done, some have been receiving messages that the company has signed with a partner.

There have been a total of four lawsuits filed against the company in federal and B.C. courts since Oct. 31, 2019, according to court records.

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All of them are by companies or individuals who allege that they have done work for One Ocean but haven’t been paid either partially or in full.

None of the claims have been proven in court. One Ocean did not respond to The Chief’s requests for comment on the legal actions, nor had it filed statements of response in court before press deadline.

The Chief reached out via social media, email and phone to the head of the company, Andrew Prossin, but has not received a response before press deadline.

Before Christmas, the ground floor of the company’s Squamish office on Second Avenue had no furniture or equipment visible from the exterior. It’s unclear if the top floor of the One Ocean office is still occupied.

In the Federal Court of Canada, a company called Inland Liferafts and Marine is claiming $140,000 for breach of contract.

A lawsuit filed on Oct. 31 states that Inland supplied marine equipment and services to One Ocean.

The claim alleges that One Ocean didn’t compensate Inland.

“The defendants have failed and refused to pay the debt noted in the invoices, or any part thereof,” reads the document. “The defendants have breached their contract with [Inland], in respect of which [Inland] seeks payment of its damages in the amount of the unpaid invoices.”

In the claim, Inland pleads that it’s entitled to a lien against the RCGS Resolute, One Ocean’s flagship vessel, as per the Marine Liability Act.

Another claim made by a kayak guide named Allison Carroll alleges that after partially paying her, One Ocean still owes her about $13,600 in wages and expenses after she worked for the company.

A lawsuit filed in North Vancouver court on Nov. 25 says that Carroll worked from March 2019 to May 2019.

A separate lawsuit filed on Nov. 25 in North Vancouver court alleges that One Ocean owes local company Ventureweb Designs Ltd. about $18,000.

Ventureweb alleges they provided digital marketing services to One Ocean, which has not paid “certain invoices.”

On Dec. 6, a claim filed by Denholm Port Services Ltd. in the Vancouver courts alleges that One Ocean owes it about GBP £29,300.

The document says Denholm provides ship agency services, including arranging itineraries for cruise ships calling on ports in the United Kingdom.

Around June 2019, the claim says, One Ocean’s ship, the RCGS Resolute was traveling to various ports in Scotland.

Denholm agreed to provide services, such as organizing the vessel’s itinerary, among other things, the document reads.

One Ocean has paid for some of the services, but still allegedly owes Denholm about GBP £29,300.

“On numerous occasions, [One Ocean] has indicated to Denholm that payment of the outstanding funds would be forthcoming,” reads the claim. “However, despite these assurances, and despite Denholm’s repeated demands, [One Ocean] has failed to provide the outstanding funds to Denholm.”

The company is seeking GBP £29,322, interest and legal costs, among other things.

In the meantime, speculation about a possible partnership or takeover of the company has swirled around Squamish.

On  Jan. 6, a letter with the One Ocean letterhead attributed to Andrew Prossin was posted on the website of Swoop Antarctica, a travel agency.

The letter said that the Jan. 17 voyage will be cancelled, but that the company has signed a partnership agreement and that more details will be provided in the next week.

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