The court approves the settlement for the owners of the area of the Constellations

La cour approuve le règlement pour les propriétaires du quartier des Constellations

La cour approuve le règlement pour les propriétaires du quartier des Constellations

The comprehensive settlement amounted to $ 4.1 million. The City of Levis will donate 1 245 $ 350 and the firm, Inspec-Sol has to spend 1 645 350 $. The insurer Lloyds ($1 Million) and the consulting firm WSP Canada (250 000 $) will pay the last portion.

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June 30, 2020 14h42

Updated at 15h04

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The court approves the settlement for the owners of the area of the Constellations

La cour approuve le règlement pour les propriétaires du quartier des Constellations

La cour approuve le règlement pour les propriétaires du quartier des Constellations

Isabelle Mathieu

The Sun

The long legal battle of the residents of the district The Constellations in Lévis, who saw their home sinking in the unstable soil, is now completed. The superior Court approves the agreement entered into with the City, its sub-contractors and insurers, and directs the payment of a little over three million dollars to the owners of 286 houses.

In his collective action authorised in march 2011, a group of citizens of the Constellations, in the Saint-Jean-Chrysostome argued that the City of Lévis had committed a fault in granting building permits, and by growing a neighborhood on land which is unstable.

The owners have experienced huge problems, the chief of which was the subsidence in their homes.

To defend themselves, the City of Lévis had been called in warranty the sub-contractors, Inspec-Sol and CIMA Québec, as well as real estate developers.

After years of litigation and two process-of-court settlement, an agreement is finally reached between the parties on November 30, 2018. It has been submitted for approval to the court two weeks ago.

The comprehensive settlement amounted to $ 4.1 million. The City of Levis will donate 1 245 $ 350 and the firm, Inspec-Sol has to spend 1 645 350 $. The insurer Lloyds ($1 Million) and the consulting firm WSP Canada (250 000 $) will pay the last portion.

All other stakeholders have no amount to pay. The settlement also provides for a refund to the APCHQ and the Fund of assistance to collective action.

The owners of 286 residences will be compensated for by the distribution plan. They were divided into 11 categories, based on the work already carried out at their residence. Five owners have expressed their disagreement or disappointment at the hearing.

The judge Denis Jacques of the superior Court takes the view that regulation is what could happen better to the owners unhappy. “It is necessary to remember that a trial would have required several days of hearings, involving complex evidence, all with an uncertain result as well as the possibility of calls resulting in time delays and additional uncertainty,” wrote justice James in his decision.

Grant program in 2013

In concert with the Société d’habitation du Québec, and without admitting liability, the City of Lévis was established in December 2013 of a grant program to the people of the Constellations. Owners whose residence suffered a collapse of a certain gravity have been able to obtain a grant corresponding to two-thirds of the cost of the work, up to a maximum of $ 100,000. In total, 1.8 million $ have been handed over to the owners. If we include this amount, the comprehensive settlement of the Constallations amounted to approximately $5.9 million.

Fees to be reasonable… for once

Justice Denis Jacques said to have no hesitation to accept the payment of a fee of 11 % of the overall settlement to attorneys for citizens, the firm Gravel Bernier Vaillancourt.

“We are here away from the legal fees of 25 % or 30 % in some cases […] that deviate markedly from the social nature of collective action,” said judge James. In this case, the lawyers will have the satisfaction, even if their fees are not fully offset, to have rendered service and to have helped homeowners who have found themselves in a precarious situation to have applied to them a balm for their broken dream.”

The judge said that he was impressed by all the volunteer work done over a decade by citizens, applicants, Jean-François Labbé, and Éléna Laroche “for the benefit of the community in order to ensure a fair and equitable treatment for all members”.

Le Soleil

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