Homes in this Sechelt neighbourhood were evacuated after a sinkhole made them unsafe in February 2019. (Google Maps)

Homes in this Sechelt neighbourhood were evacuated after a sinkhole made them unsafe in February 2019. (Google Maps)

Developer, government deny negligence in Sechelt sinkhole lawsuit

Homes in a Sechelt neighbourhood were evacuated due to a sinkhole in February 2019

No one is accepting responsibility for the 12 homes evacuated as a result of a sinkhole in Sechelt earlier this year, a series of court documents show.

The documents, the last of which were filed on Oct. 31, represent the legal action taken by two people who were forced to leave their home after a sinkhole developed in the Sunshine Coast community in February. The homes in the affected subdivision were valued at around $1 million each.

READ MORE: ‘Dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Rodney Burwell Goy and Donna Lynn Goy submitted a notice of civil claim in August, alleging the District of Sechelt, the province, developer Concordia Seawatch Ltd. and two co-owners Ronald Davis and Ronald Antalek, and Hollywell Properties and real estate agents Barbie Whitworth and Shay Moudahi, were negligent in developing, building and selling the home to the couple.

The civil suit takes aim at Concordia Seawatch, alleging that during initial construction in fall 2005, the land showed “numerous sinkholes and other incidents of landslip, soil subsidence and similar geotechnical events.”

The Goys allege the municipality was “actively involved” in monitoring and assessing geotechnical conditions. Specifically, they claim the district directed Concordia Seawatch to “repair sinkholes and remedy conditions that rendered the lands potentially unstable.”

The civil claim notes that after a 2013 report warning of the issues with the land, the district had a duty to warn prospective buyers of the full extent of the problems, “which it knew had occurred on the Seawatch Lands since 2oo5.”

The couple bought the property in 2013, and claim the real estate agents “were personally aware” of the severity of the geotechnical problems, as well as the future risks.

The Goys have asked for general and special damages against all defendants, and punitive damages against all parties except the real estate agents in compensation for their financial losses.

In response, the province alleges the Goys “knew or ought to have known” about the geotechnical issues, particularly sinkholes, to which the property was prone. The municipality, meanwhile, claims its decision to approve the development depended on Concordia Seawatch’s geotechnical reports.

For its part, Concordia Seawatch claims the contract the Goys signed had said the buyers are aware of and acknowledge its “geotechnical latent defect.” The developer denies negligence, and argues the district had other geotechnical information on the land that it “had a duty to share.”

Finally, the real estate agents deny negligence and claim the Goys failed to review geotechnical reports and documents that were provided to them or that they could have obtained with “reasonable” due diligence.

None of the claims has been proven in court.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This BC Hydro map shows some of the power outages across Northern BC. Many were caused by high winds. (BC Hydro Website)
Power out across much of Northern BC

BC Hydro anticipates some may be without power overnight

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Cedar Valley Lodge, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the LNG Canada Project site in Kitimat. The most recent outbreak among workers at the project site was just declared over. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Second COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site declared over

The outbreak was first declared on Dec. 16, 2020

CGL has closed down the two lodges affected to everyone except the essential staff. (Black Press file photo)
All COVID-19 cases associated with Coastal GasLink outbreak deemed recovered

Outbreaks occurred at CGL project accommodation sites in Burns Lake and Nechako Local Health Areas

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Most Read