A pair of lumber producers are at loggerheads over the sale of equipment salvaged from a Fort St. James sawmill.

Vancouver-based Teal-Jones Group is suing Hampton Lumber Mills-Canada Ltd. claiming a salvage company Hampton had hired as part of dismantling the old Conifex sawmill damaged equipment it had agreed to purchase for $2.2 million.

According to a notice of claim filed March 14 in B.C. Supreme Court, Teal-Jones had hired a contractor of its own and had begun to remove the equipment in November 2021 only to see a Prince George-based scrapping service, Allen’s Scrap and Salvage Ltd., allegedly damage the items while it was carrying out work on the site around June 2022.

Teal-Jones says it had intended to install the equipment – a debarker ring for a large canter line, motor control centres for the large and small canter lines and electrical components – at a sawmill it was building in Louisiana but it was rendered useless and forced the company to source other equipment for the mill.

The company alleges that Hampton failed to properly instruct Allen’s to stay away from the equipment and to make sure it was not damaged. In the alternative, Teal-Jones alleges Allen’s Scrap intentionally damaged the equipment and was using heavy equipment near electrical components knowing they had not properly been disconnected.

Teal-Jones is seeking a range of damages.

Both Hampton and Allen’s are named as defendants. The allegations have not been tested in court and the defendants have not filed responses to Teal-Jones’ claim.

In 2019, Hampton, whose parent company is based in Oregon, bought the Fort St. James sawmill and the related timber rights from Conifex. Construction of a new sawmill began after the B.C. forests minister approved the deal later the same year.

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