Nfld. & Labrador

Son sues city, contractor for mother's death after balcony collapse

The sons of a woman who died in 2016 say a construction company and the City of Corner Brook were negligent in their mother's death.

Joyce Cuff died in June 2016, after the balcony under her collapsed

The sons of Joyce Cuff have sued the City of Corner Brook and a company from Pasadena for a fatal accident in 2016. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The sons of a woman who died two summers ago says a construction company and the City of Corner Brook were negligent in their mother's death.

Joyce Cuff was visiting a home on Curling Street in Corner Brook on June 24, 2016, when the balcony she was standing on collapsed under her. She later died of her injuries.

Her son, Gary Cuff, has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court in Corner Brook on behalf of he and his brother Malcolm, alleging the company which constructed the balcony in 2012 — Pasadena Contractors Limited — didn't do its job properly.

A statement of claim said the balcony was unsafe because it was improperly designed and that there was improper installation for the required loads according to the National Building Code of Canada, including the use of deck screws instead of structural screws.

Cuff maintains the City of Corner Brook is liable because it supplied the home inspector, who issued an occupancy permit and failed to ensure the balcony was safe. 

The men are seeking over $10,300 for Joyce Cuff's funeral expenses as well as damages to compensate for their "loss of care, guidance and companionship."

Contractor has no knowledge of building deck, document says

Both the city and contractor have filed statements of defence denying all the allegations laid out by the Cuff family. 

The city said no exterior deck was shown in the building plans submitted by the owners of the home where Cuff was fatally injured.

Further in its defence, the city said the permit application did not seek to construct or alter an exterior deck. 

The city's building inspector went to the home twice in 2012, the court document said, but only to inspect the interior.

For its part, Pasadena Contractors denies any knowledge of building the deck to begin with.

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