The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear the appeal of Susan Heyes, the owner of maternity-wear shop Hazel and Co who has been fighting for compensation because of Canada Line construction.
The Vancouver merchant had applied to argue the case at the Supreme Court of Canada as a self-represented litigant, but on Thursday morning the court ruled it would not hear her appeal.
Heyes said she called the Supreme Court at 6:30 a.m. PT and was stunned by the news.
"I was shocked. I was stunned.... I was so confident this would be heard by the Supreme Court. Of all the cases the Supreme Court has had presented to them I thought this was a case that really needed to be looked at and debated by the Supreme Court," she said.
Heyes says she's lost $900,000 since the fight began, including $400,000 in legal fees, lost business and the cost of relocating to Main Street.
Sued over construction disruption
Heyes won a $600,000 award at B.C. Supreme Court in 2009, after her business suffered huge losses during construction of the Canada Line rapid transit system in front of her Cambie Street store.
Heyes said her clothing business was hurt because the builders of the subway used a cut and cover method to install the line below street level, instead of boring a tunnel as they originally proposed.
As a result the construction fouled traffic on the street outside her store and virtually eliminated street parking in the busy Cambie Street shopping area for more than one year.
But in February that decision was overturned at the B.C. Court of Appeal, which ruled that the Canada Line project obtained the necessary approvals at each phase of construction and was well within its rights to decide upon the less expensive cut and cover option.
At the time Heyes said she had already paid $300,000 from her award to her lawyer for legal bills and she did not have the cash to pay the $600,000 back.