Claim for punitive damages 'rare' in mall collapse case
Lawyer representing families of Elliott Lake mall collapse victims says punitive damages could be awarded if 'callous disregard' is proven
Posted: Oct 3, 2012 10:50 AM ET
Last Updated: Oct 3, 2012 10:46 AM ET
A personal injury lawyer says a new lawsuit will enter uncharted territory when it sues the province for the roof collapsing at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake.
Lawyer Roger Oatley said relatives of Lucie Aylwin and Dolores Perizzolo will seek punitive damages after two women died in the tragic incident in June. Oatley said the province needs to be held accountable for the collapse.
The complainants are seeking $11.25 million.
"In Ontario, buildings like this are not supposed to collapse, because they're supposed to be built according to code,” he said.
Oatley noted the province failed to investigate complaints made about the mall's maintenance before the roof collapse.
Family members are making a rare claim for punitive damages — damages that could be awarded "when someone who's caused a loss like this is found — on the evidence — to have been callously disregarding the safety of other people,” he said.
Oatley said they’re waiting on other investigations to prove these claims are appropriate.
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