College blames local roofing company for flood damage two years ago
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
In a civil case filed in Port Coquitlam Provincial Small Claims Court, Douglas College filed a “notice of claim” against a Lower Mainland roofing company.
The “notice of claim” alleges that the company caused a flood in Building B of the Coquitlam Campus in August 2017. Douglas, through the law firm of Guild Yule Limited Liability Partnership, states that the total damages from the substandard roofing repairs cost the College approximately $35,216.
Douglas also petitioned the court for filing ($156) and services fees ($60) related to the claim.
The Other Press obtained a copy of the notice of claim, court file number COQ-P-C-17967, dated June 18, 2019 from the provincial courts electronic document retrieval system.
According to the obtained documents, Douglas hired the company in question to perform roofing work at the Coquitlam campus in March 2017. The contract between the two entities stipulated that the contractor would be liable for any damages to the College’s property while completing the required work.
Douglas College attests that nearing the completion of the roofing work, the company failed to seal a drain on the roof of Building B and “On or around August 14, 2017,” the unsealed drain allowed water to leak into the building and caused a flood.
An internet search of the Government of Canada weather data for the closest weather station to the Douglas College’s Coquitlam campus—Port Moody Glenayre (Meteorological Service of Canada Climate ID: 1106CL2)—showed that there was no recorded rainfall on August 14 2017, and only 10 millimeters of rain fell that month—all on August 12 2017.
The case hinged on the definition of flood and the amount of damages incurred by Douglas.
In the reply to the notice of claim, filed by the roofing company on June 28 2019, the company agrees to “[A] leak” and states that on August 15, 2017 the company and a Douglas College representative inspected the repairs and the water damage, and assessed the “minimal” damages due to the water leak to be below $5,000 dollars. The roofing company also states that photographs were taken and an agreement with the College was established where Douglas would repair the damage, and the roofing company would assume the cost.
The two sides may have decided to honour their original agreement, as Douglas College withdrew their claim on September 20, 2019. Unfortunately, the document detailing the withdrawal of the claim was not available via the online public search; however, the Other Press visited the Port Coquitlam Provincial courthouse where the initial files were submitted and confirmed that Douglas College withdrew the claim on September 20, and did not provide the court with a reason for the withdrawal.