Dates have now been set for the pier litigation, extending well into 2014, with the anticipated start of a trial in the spring.
There are five lawsuits related to the pier:
- The City of Burlington vs. Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd., (original contractor) Aecom Canada Ltd. (original design engineer), Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada, P.V &V Insurance Centre Ltd. et al (Insurance Claim)
- The City of Burlington vs. Aecom Canada Ltd.
- The City of Burlington vs. Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.
- Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. vs. the City of Burlington
- Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. vs. Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada, P.V. & V Insurance Centre Ltd., the City of Burlington, Craneway Equipment Ltd. (Insurance Claim)
The dates and next steps in this litigation are below:
By July 30, 2013: Lombard Insurance will file its Affidavit of Documents
By August 2, 2013: Answers to undertakings are to be exchanged
By September 30, 2013: Examinations for Discovery are to be completed including any further examinations arising from undertakings, subject to the availability of counsel for Craneway, which may need minor scheduling accommodations
By September 30, 2013: Examinations for Discovery of Lombard Insurance are to occur
By November 30, 2013: Motion dates for any motions to compel answers to questions refused
By December 31, 2013: Expert Reports in chief, if any, to be served
By February 28, 2014: responding Expert Reports, if any, to be served
May/June 2014: Date for trial scheduled
The issue of scheduling a date for mediation was discussed at length, however no mediation date was scheduled. The matter will be left to legal counsel to discuss further.
My Take: Residents will recall I supported working with the original contractor and designer to resolve the pier dispute and legal issues, rather than retender the project. The original contractor was willing to work with the city, to that end. One of my concerns was that pursuing litigation rather than resolving these issues would lead to a lengthy and costly legal battle, with an uncertain outcome, even with a strong case. Those concerns are coming to bear, with the legal issues stretching well in to 2014, with costs to taxpayers adding up. Whether the city pursues the case in court, or settles this through mediation, there are now certain sunk costs that will not be recovered. I have and continue to support publicly releasing the legal costs, as well as releasing all the costs and options considered by council for completing the pier, leading up to the retender.