Leaky condo suit snares city

The City of Penticton has been entangled in a lawsuit filed by the owners at a pair of condo towers over allegations of shoddy workmanship and poor design.

The strata of the Athens Creek Towers at 2125 Atkinson Street filed a lawsuit last month in B.C. Supreme Court naming developer, Starline Enterprises, as well as the engineering firms and contractors involved in the construction of the two towers in 2010 and 2012.

The City of Penticton has been named for its role in approving building permits, while Travellers Insurance Company of Canada is the named warranty provider. 

In all, the 28-page lawsuit names 23 parties as defendants.

The civil claim alleges the development was constructed with inadequate drainage systems and faulty waterproofing, which has allowed water ingress and flooding.

In particular, the suit claims the underground parkade shared by the towers has experienced “excessive concrete cracking” and corrosion of its reinforcing steel. Vehicles parked underground have also been subjected to water damage, as have items stored in the actual condo buildings, mechanical room and storage areas.

"The corrosion of the reinforcing steel in the parkade and condominium has compromised their ability to safely and effectively transmit and resist structural loads and forces," the lawsuit continues.

“The missing connections between gutters and downspouts to the storm drainage system is resulting in excessive flooding of landscaped areas, which is causing or contributing to drainage issues, flooding and water seepage."

The development, which occurred in two phases, is covered by a standard 2-5-10 new home warranty through Travellers Insurance that covers defects in materials and labour, the building envelope and structural defects for two, five and 10 years respectively.

The lawsuit claims the insurance company failed to properly investigate the alleged defects and respond to warranty claims in a timely manner.

The pages of the lawsuit dedicated to the City of Penticton allege the municipality failed to account for flood risk of the site when approving the development and did not inspect the construction site to ensure drawings were being followed. The suit says the city was negligent in issuing an occupancy permit “when it knew or ought to have known about the defects.”

The lawsuit seeks a court order to have Travellers Insurance pay out the warranty claims in addition to general and special damages from everyone else involved.

None of the named defendants have filed a response in court and no allegations have been proven in court.

The City of Penticton settled another similar leaky condo lawsuit last year involving Lakeview Terraces on Marina Way. In that case, city taxpayers ended up being on the hook for $1.15M.

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