Somerset House owner appeals order to pay $300K to city
The owners of a downtown Ottawa heritage bulding that partially collapsed in 2007 said they will appeal a court decision ordering him to pay the city for emergency expenses.
The 115-year-old Somerset House had a partial collapse on Oct. 19, 2007 that trapped a worker inside for more than an hour. The city closed the intersection of Bank and Somerset for eight weeks for fear that the building would collapse further and issued an emergency order to complete the demolition out of safety concerns. A partial demolition eventually went ahead.
In December, the Ontario Superior Court ordered the owner of the building, TKS Holdings Inc., a real estate and construction company, to pay the city $316,000.
TKS Holdings said Wednesday it is appealing the decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
City clerk Rick O'Connor said the legal department is preparing to fight the appeal.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour had earlier fined the company and its owner after the incident. A Ministry of Labour investigation found the collapse took place while renovation work was being done against the advice of a soil engineer.
The incident was caused by the weight and vibration of machinery being used under bad soil conditions due to recent rain, investigators determined.