Marina Del Rey Condominium $15 Lawsuits, Toronto


The Toronto Waterfront area can be a beautiful place to live. I thought all my dreams had come true when I moved in to my condominium 23 years ago. It has the most spectacular view of this city! However, I soon discovered that purchasing this property would become my biggest nightmare! I have now been homeless for 13 years!

This is a cautionary tale about what happens to a condo owner at Marina Del Rey Phase I, 2261 Lake Shore Blvd. W, who is forced to commence legal action in an effort to rebuild her home after years of continuous water flooding problems, mismanagement, neglect of duties, and bad faith displayed by insurance companies.

I have started this blog with the hope that I can provide help and encouragement to others who find themselves in a similar situation. Insurance companies and corporations have lots of money and lawyers to fight us. However, we have the power of the internet and the social media to connect, support each other, and exchange helpful information.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Who Pays When a Toilet Tank Bursts?

If damage is caused to other units or the common elements as a result of something that is caused by you or your occupants, then your insurance must pay.

CGU, why did you refuse to inspect my condo unit for damage?  Why did you refuse to respond to my requests for assistance and coordinate with my insurance company after the June 18, 2000 and May 22, 2001 floods?  The subsequent damage to my unit exceeded my policy limit and I required your cooperation to rebuild my home.

Jai Goolseram, the insurance adjuster for CGU told me to go ahead and sue!  I clearly remember that day and have remained very upset whenever I think about the things he said to me on the telephone.

In contrast, the condo corporation's insurance adjuster did respond, although not immediately.  Standard procedure at my condo is to report a flood to the conceirge, the conceirge calls the superintendent, the super calls in remediation specialists immediately, the condo manager calls the insurance company and starts a claim.  This did not happen in my situation because the person in charge of managing our condo had no formal training for this positon.  Mistakes were made, but after 6 months the condo corporations's insurer,  Allianz, did offer some money to help me - but it was not enough to rebuild my home.  I needed assistance from CGU  who insured the condo owner above me from where the water leaks originated.  CGU steadfastly refused. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Thank You Warren Ritchie

Shame on you CGU Insurance.  Allianz too!

Why do we buy Insurance?  Isn't it to provide financial assistance to assure reimbursement for losses sustained?

Shouldn't the Condo Corporation's insurance that I pay for monthly through my common elements fees be helping me?  Why are they fighting me and making me suffer?  Why does the insurance company instruct Del Property Management and the Board of Directors of Marina Del Rey Phase I to ignore my pleas for help to stop the flooding under the windows, close the holes in my walls and ceilings, repair the damage caused by their plumbers when they flooded my home in 2009?  
Condo torn apart, Fans Drying it out after 2009 Flood
My condo is infested with mould and completely destroyed.  I never caused any of these water leaks!  Why doesn't the insurance company representing the man who lived above me where some of water  leaks originated help me?  Their refusal to cooperate with my insurance in 2001 after two floods caused me to lose my personal insurance in September 2001.  My condo was gutted to bare concrete in 2001. When I rebuilt my condo using my own money, everything inside is considered an upgrade.  This is supposed to be covered by personal insurance - but I can't get insurance due to high risk.

It seems like the motive of insurance companies is to make me suffer, give up and drop my lawsuits... perhaps die!

I am sitting here at my basement office on a Sunday afternoon.  I wish I could be at home but the mould makes me too ill.  I have no kitchen to cook dinner. I miss being able to cook.  I am deciding between Tim Hortons or Rabba - maybe I will splurge on Pizza Pizza.  This is horrible and I have no life!

I am so upset!  I decided to call Warren Ritchie, the man who lived above me, the former Treasurer of Marina Del Rey Phase I, former member of the Board of Directors.  I have not spoken to him since 2003.  I looked him up 411 and was surprised to discover he moved to the condo complex next door.  I was surprised he answered his phone - I recognized his voice! He remembered who I am. 

I told him about my story, how I have been homeless for 11 years.   He seemed very surprised.  I told him that his insurance refused to cooperate and told me to go ahead and sue in January 2001.  I told him about the letters that I wrote to his insurance company and the phone calls I made asking for help.   Repeated floods originating from his condo destroyed my home.  My insurance was cancelled due to "high risk."  Now I can't get insurance because there is mould in my walls.  I told him that my condo was gutted to bare concrete and that MPAC inspected it and I did not have to pay property tax.  I told him that for many years I had to sleep on the floor of my basement office at work.  I was so stressed out because of the law suit and depressed because I lost my home.  I had to close my water feature design business.

Closed my business after 16 years due to Stress & Depression, Homeless 
 He logged on to his computer and saw my blog and promised to read it + all my links.  He said he was sorry!  He said he paid the deductible to his insurance company for this claim.  He was surprised that this matter has dragged on this long.  He never knew the details of this lawsuit or what was going on.  His insurance company told him that "they would take care of things."  He moved out of Marina Del Rey in 2004.  He never knew they offered me a very low settlement recently which would not cover the cost of repairing  my condo.  Mr. Ritchie did not think this was fair.  He promised to call his insurance company, CGU, and their lawyer Murray Steiber on Monday.  He said that the way they had treated me is wrong.  He assumed they had cooperated with me and helped me.

Thank you Mr. Ritchie.  All these years I thought you were against me.  I appreciate your sympathy and your hope that my condo is rebuilt and my life is given back to me.  Thank you Mr. Ritchie for having empathy for my situation and having the courage to phone your insurance company and their lawyer to tell them what they have done to me is wrong - they have acted in Bad Faith!

Now if only the other members of the Board of Directors at Marina Del Rey had the courage to do the same thing.  If I was a member of the Board, I would want to help my neighbour rebuild her life and her home. I would tell the insurance company that the way you want us to treat our neighbour is wrong.  We should be helping her! I would instruct the Property Management company to hire contractors to make repairs.  They must stop the continuous flooding, remediate the mould, and close the holes in the walls and ceilings.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Whiten vs. Pilot Insurance, significant victory!

Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Company  It is obvious the Court was significantly influenced by the following facts:
  • The Insurer’s allegation that the fire was a result of arson was obviously without merit
  • The Insurer ignored the evidence of its own experts
  • When the claim was denied, no explanation was offered to the Insured
  • As a result of the denial, the Insured’s were “forced out into the snow”
  • The Court found that the highest level of management was aware of these decisions, but took no steps to correct the deficiencies
  • The actions of defence counsel throughout the course of the action was considered outrageous and bordering on misconduct
  • The Court found that the Insureds had breached a “Peace of Mind Contract” when they knew it would have a detrimental effect on the Insured.
The unprecedented punitive damage award in Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Company heralds a significant departure from the previous method of quantifying and assessing an Insurer’s exposure for Bad Faith claims. Prior to Whiten, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that punitive damage awards should be increased on an incremental basis.  After, as a result of Whiten v. Pilot Insurance case, punitive damage awards must be proportionate.

The Supreme Court outlined six criteria, which should be considered by the Jury in determining the quantum of a punitive damage award:
It must be proportionate to:
1. The blameworthiness of the defendant’s conduct;
2. The degree of vulnerability of the plaintiff;
3. The harm or potential harm directed specifically at the plaintiff;
4. The need for deterrence;
5. Even after taking into account the other penalties, both civil and criminal which have been or are likely to be inflicted on the defendant for the same misconduct;
6. The advantage wrongfully gained by a defendant from the misconduct.

This significant damage award for Bad Faith opens the door to "U.S. style litigation" and shifts the emphasis from the subject matter of the contract to the action of the Insurer.

See Lawyer Brian Atherton's detailed explanation of case:  http://athertonbarristers.com/html/badfaith.html

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Marina Del Rey Phase I Condo for Rent $1,500 per month or Sale $375,000

Mould.
This is no joke, Anyone interested in Buying my condo for $375,000 or Renting my condo for $1,500 per month? I need the money so that I can move for health reasons. 

Warning: My condo made me congested & sneeze blood. There are holes in the walls & ceilings left open by the plumbers hired by the condo corporation to change leaking pipes in 2009.   The same plumbers broke my shower stall, but there is a bathtub on the second floor, and a toilet and small sink on the lower floor.  The sound of rushing water in the pipes may keep you up at night. There is mould in the hardwood floor, common walls & ventilation system,.  I recommend keeping your  furniture & belongings covered in plastic and high up on blocks  - especially on the lower floor because it floods whenever it rains. There is no kitchen but  RABBA is next door and you can become their best customer - breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

See my ad on Craigslist:
http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/apa/2274519277.html

Bonus:

If you act quickly, I will include a shop vac, mop & pail, plastic to cover your belongings, blocks to raise your furniture, ear plugs to block out the sounds of your neighbours at night, and a face mask!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Marina Del Rey Tenants Association

My friend from Marina Del Rey Phase 3 told me that some residents of Phase 3 and Phase 2 had organized a tenants association because they were so dissatisfied with the way their building was managed and there is a concern about money misspent. 

PLEASE CONTACT ME!  I have been a resident of here since 1991.  I know all about the building problems and issues from a Phase I condo owner perspective.  I have also collected a lot of evidence for my lawsuits about sources of water leaks, mismanagement, neglect of duties, failure to attend to priority issues in a timely fashion, etc.

Visitors noses plugged, felt congested within 5 minutes! Had to LEAVE

I spoke with a Resident of Phase 3 which had similar problems with leaking windows, leaking pipes, water shutdowns.  I also invited 3 Residents of Marina Del Rey into my condo. They looked shocked. They didn't realize this is what was around the corner of their hall.  One said they lived in another unit in the complex which also had water leaking ABOVE the frame and poured down the window when it rained.  Apparently they know of another friend in Phase I who is also experiencing a lot of leaking around their windows.  All three said thank goodness none of their windows leak... yet.

I have to cover my furniture in plastic, and have mop on standby


I showed them the flood damage and the mould growth on my hardwood floor around the defective windows. I pointed out the bad smell and mould growth in the open wall of my washroom. Within 5 minutes, their noses started to get plugged because they were affected by the mould.

I started to tell them my story.  Here are SOME OF THEIR COMMENTS + some of another resident from Phase 3:

How can anyone expect you to live here? This is NOT A HOME! Where do you cook or store your food? Where are your dishes?  Sink? (my kitchen is gone) Where do you eat? There is nowhere to sit and relax! All your furniture is covered in plastic. (bunched in the corner farthest from the leaking windows up on blocks to keep dry) I guess you have to eat out all the time or get ready cooked meals.  That is not healthy for you.  That is expensive too. (I told them that I calculated that over the last 11 years of having no kitchen, I estimated that I have spent an extra $78,000 eating ready cooked meals from RABBA + I have gained an unhealthy 25 lbs.)

Flooded kitchen.  Everything had to be thrown out.
What is wrong with the people managing this place?  Are the Board of Directors doing anything about it? The condo corporation has to fix the leaking windows, get rid of the mould in the walls. They should be fixing your place if their plumbers flooded and wrecked the place.  You pay maintenance fees just like us, they should be helping you!

You must be under so much stress! How can you work?  It's no wonder you lost your business. (I had to close my 16 year old business because of the stress and depression caused by these living conditions)

I feel bad for you.  I would not settle for less than $5 million if I were you - having to live over 10 years of  total hell. Wait, $5 million is not enough.  Good luck in court! It's crazy for the condo's lawyer to request a jury trial.  A Jury will award you more.

This is horrible. Wrong. wrong. wrong.

Monday, 14 March 2011

How to Survive Bad Faith Insurance Companies | eHow.com

"Surviving a claim to your insurance company can be another tragedy in your life. In a fair world, you should be able to submit a claim and your insurance company will pay it right away. But, fairness often is unheard of if you submit a large claim to your insurance company. Hopefully, this article will prepare others for the long journey ahead so that they can avoid many of the roadblocks."

I found this to be a really good article with very useful information on how to prepare yourself for a major court battle!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Marina Del Rey & British Columbia's Leaking Condo Fiasco

Everyone has heard about the leaking condo court cases in British Columbia.  Here are some lessons learned: 
"When former MP and journalist Simma Holt bought a Port Moody, B.C., condo back in early 1999, she had no idea that the purchase of her modest retirement home would result in years of litigation..."

Read more:  Toronto Star article, 2006
http://www.aaron.ca/columns/2006-07-22.htm

People have asked me, if your place is so bad, why don't you just your condo?  The problems faced by those in British Columbia are the same as mine.  It would be very difficult for me to sell my condo unit.  AS IS, no one would want to buy my headaches.  The leaks are continuous when it rains, there is mould in my walls.