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Posts Tagged "file"

11Oct

Guests injured when deck collapsed at Langley wedding party file lawsuits

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https://vancouversun.com/


More than a dozen guests who were injured when a deck collapsed during a wedding party in Langley in April have filed lawsuits seeking damages.


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More than a dozen guests who were injured when a deck collapsed at a wedding party in Langley have filed lawsuits seeking damages from the owner of the home, a construction company and the Township of Langley.

To date, 17 notices of civil claim have been filed in the Vancouver registry of the B.C. Supreme Court in connection with the incident, which happened at a home in the 5800-block of 268th Street on April 19.

At the time, police reported that dozens of people were injured when the second-storey deck collapsed during a party being attended by more than 100 people. One neighbour reported hearing a “deafening boom” as the deck came down.

One of the lawsuits, which was filed in September, says that on Aug. 18, 2018, a rental agreement was formed between Amaroo Estate, a landlord that carries on a business providing executive-style furnished accommodations, and a tenant for the use and occupancy of the premises between April 16 and 23.

The premises had a large outdoor deck that was attached to the main residence and was about one storey above a concrete slab, says the lawsuit.

“While the guests were congregating on the deck in order to take photographs, it suddenly and without warning, collapsed causing the plaintiff to fall from the deck surface onto the concrete and/or other guests.”

The plaintiff in question, a businessman named Bora Yenal, claims that he suffered fractures to both ankles, injuries to his neck, shoulders and back as well as lacerations, contusions and abrasions. He also claims he suffered soft-tissue injuries, mood disruption, anxiety, chronic pain and sleep disruption.

“The injuries have caused and continue to cause the plaintiff pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent physical disability, loss of physical, mental and emotional health,” says his lawsuit.

“The plaintiff continues to undergo medical care and treatment and to incur loss and expense, particulars of which will be delivered at trial.”

Other plaintiffs are claiming they suffered injuries including broken legs, feet and wrists, scarring and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The plaintiffs say the accident was caused by the negligence of the defendant landlord and several named directors of the company.

The allegations include that the defendants failed to employ a reasonable system of inspection or maintenance and permitted the deck to be constructed without complying with building and fire codes and the Township of Langley’s building bylaw.

The Township of Langley is also named as a defendant.

No response has been filed to the lawsuits, which contain allegations that have not been tested in court. The defendants could not be reached.

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2Apr

Eby’s bumpy, make-it-up-as-you-go-along ride on challenging ICBC file

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VICTORIA — Portrait of a cabinet minister making things up as he goes along:

Feb. 7: David Eby, wearing his cabinet minister for ICBC hat, reacts to news the government-owned auto insurance company missed its financial target for the first full year under the NDP.

ICBC forecast a loss of $684 million. Instead it will lose $1.18 billion, not much less than the $1.296 billon it lost in the financial year shared with the departed B.C. Liberal government.

Not to worry says Eby, still wedded to the belief that ICBC can be put on a break-even footing by 2020.

He’s already consulting with “stakeholders” on a new way to rein in legal and court costs: “The big one we’re concerned about are the cost of expert reports.”

Feb. 11: Eby, now wearing his attorney-general’s hat, signs a cabinet order rewriting the rules for court cases involving motor vehicle accident claims.

“We’re reforming the Supreme Court civil rules to limit the number of experts and expert reports allowed in certain cases,” he tells reporters.

The new limits are expected to deliver “in excess of $400 million” in savings for ICBC, starting that very day, which is when the new rules take effect.

Supreme Court rules are supposed to be vetted by a committee of lawyers and judges, jointly appointed by Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson and the attorney-general.

How involved was the committee in these changes?

Eby cites “discussions” with “a multi-stakeholder group” and “ministry staff.” But he never says whether these changes were approved in advance by the rules committee or to what extent the committee was even consulted.

Later that day the Trial Lawyers Association comes out and says what Eby won’t say, namely that the attorney-general pushed through the rule changes unilaterally.

“He is doing so despite a protest from the independent rules committee,” reports Ian Mulgrew in The Vancouver Sun.

Feb. 27: It has taken more than two weeks, but the attorney-general finally admits the trial lawyers were correct about the rule changes.

“I would like to clarify the process that was followed in relation to these changes,” reads the statement put out by his office.

He goes on to say the rules committee was “engaged” before the changes were announced. And it did offer “feedback,” which Eby claims to “very much appreciated.”

However: “The rules committee did not recommend these changes and was not asked to approve these changes. These changes were a decision made by government.”

Meaning government in the person of David Eby, an attorney-general who gets to preside over a unilateral rewrite of the court rules to suit the minister for ICBC, who is, of course, one and the same.

And lest there be any doubt on the part of the committee or anyone else, “government will continue its work on additional changes to the rules of court,” says Eby.

March 25: Eby announces via press release that he is pulling back on two provisions in the edict on the use of experts.

The new limits won’t apply to cases scheduled to go to court before the end of this calendar year. Litigants who incurred costs for experts before the Feb. 11 change of rules will be permitted to recover those costs.

All in the name of fairness and avoiding “unintended consequences” according to a followup statement from the ministry of the Attorney-General.

As for the financial consequences for ICBC, the ministry estimates the pullback will knock some $20 million off the projected savings of $400 million.

March 29: Another day, another amendment to the regulations regarding ICBC claims. There’s now more leeway for claimants to recover medical, rehabilitation, disability and other costs, including funeral expenses and death benefits.

“The new (60-day) limit gives people a reasonable amount of time to submit their receipts while ensuring ICBC receives the information it needs to accurately assess the severity of claims, provide additional supports to injured people as needed and better forecast future costs,” says the statement from Eby’s ministry.

This just two days before the new claims and litigation regime takes effect.

April 1: “The key for me is we’ve got to make it to April 1,” said Eby back in February, referring to the date he set last year for the big changeover on ICBC claims.

Those changes, limiting payouts for injuries, steering claims to arbitration and capping costs for ones that go to court, were expected to save $1 billion, even without the added limits on use of experts.

Now the big day is here and the trial lawyers mark the occasion by confirming they will challenge the new regime on constitutional grounds.

All of which recalls something else Eby said back when he was announcing the new limits on the use of experts and predicting savings of $400 million or more.

“The reality is that it will depend very much on the reception of the courts and the approach of lawyers to this,” he said.

“Our hope is that the bench and the bar support the intent of these rules, understand why we’re doing this, and that we do realize these savings.”

Against those hopes, there is Eby’s record, including a lack of consultations, arbitrary rule-making, and changes at the last minute.

Not the approach that most cabinet ministers would choose if they needed co-operation from the bar and bench to make the numbers work.

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Twitter.com/VaughnPalmer

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3Oct

6 employees file human rights complaints against UBC after being fired or denied promotion

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The association representing management and professional staff at UBC says six of its members have filed human rights complaints against the university.

The members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS) say they were terminated or denied a promotion on the basis of disability or pregnancy. The six members have made a total of eight complaints to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

The incidents allegedly happened at the school’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses in a variety of departments.

The AAPS represents approximately 4,500 employees out of the nearly 16,000 people who work at UBC’s campuses.

No ‘just cause’ protection

Joey Hansen, executive director of the AAPS, says the association’s collective agreement doesn’t have just cause protection. This means that, unlike other traditional unionized environments, members can be terminated without just cause.

He says the employees basically received a form letter saying they were terminated or denied a promotion.

Hansen said the association decided to go public due to the number of complaints.

“We started noticing a pattern of employees with health issues being terminated without just cause,” Hansen said.  

“We felt we had to find a way to deal with this. Not just on an individual basis, but what we feel is a systemic issue at UBC.”

UBC denies allegations

In a statement to CBC News, the university says it is aware of the complaints made to the tribunal and says it takes any discrimination concerns seriously.

It declined to make any specific comment other than to say, “the university denies the allegations in the complaints.”

The statement also said the university “works hard to ensure employees have access to innovative programs and benefits, including staff housing programs, fitness facilities, daycare, retirement planning assistance and many others that make UBC an exceptional work environment.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

With files from Yvette Brend

Read more from CBC British Columbia




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