Condo Law Digest – September 2015

Balkong, Nordisk familjebok.pngPaus v Concord Adex Developments Corp., 2015 ONSC 5122
Decision Date: August 14, 2015

In Ontario, a Class Action suit must be “certified” by a judge before it can proceed. In this ruling Justice Perell has allowed a Class Action suit by owners at “The Matrix” (361 & 373 Front St. W. in Toronto). When the railing fell off the balcony of a unit in spring 2011 it was discovered that all the balconies needed remedial work. Engineers engaged by the Corporation determined that the railings as installed did not meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code then in force and recommended that all existing railings be replaced. Access to the balconies was restricted until September 2014. Paus, an owner since 2002, is one of the proposed representative plaintiffs in this action for damages. The Defendants, the condominium developer (declarant), the general contractor responsible for construction, and the condominium Corporation (TSCC No. 1438) consented to the certification.

Ballingall v Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 111, 2015 ONSC 4129
Decision Date: August 19, 2015

This is a decision on costs in Ballingall v. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 111 (which I summarized in the May 2015 Condo Law Digest.) The successful applicants asked for costs in the amount of $76,523 on the basis of substantial indemnity, with 60% assessed against the Corporation and 40% against John Macmillan, one of the Board members. Justice Aitken noted that the Applicants made four offers to settle before trial, when the Respondents made none. He ordered costs to the Applicants in the amount of $50,000 with the Corporation responsible for $35,000 and Macmillan for $15,000.

The judge made two remarks in closing: First, that “being stubborn and unwilling to compromise” is costly and unwise; and second, that condominium owners must seek leaders who can work constructively and effectively with all owners.

Comment: I do not know if mediation was attempted in this case. Had the parties worked together to come to a collaborative solution, it is likely that costs would have been significantly lower.

About the image:
Balkong, Nordisk familjebok“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.