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TransLink files appeal in Canada Line class-action lawsuit

Construction crews use the 'cut and cover' method of tunneling on Cambie Street in 2009.
Construction crews use the 'cut and cover' method of tunneling on Cambie Street in 2009. Global News

A Vancouver business owner said the fight isn’t over yet after winning damages in a Canada Line construction class-action lawsuit against TransLink.

Leonard Schein is one of three business owners on Cambie Street who won compensation for disruption to business during 2005 and 2009 because he says the method of construction drove customers away — causing merchants to lose thousands of dollars in profits.

Schein said that the construction involved digging a large trench instead of boring a tunnel, a method known as “cut and cover,” and that drove potential customers away.

He said TransLink appealed the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s decision awarding the businesses that money.

“You know, it’s just frustrating because we’ve been affected since 2005 and we still haven’t received one penny and I think the right thing for them to have done was not to appeal it and follow the court’s ruling and pay the compensation due to all these people.”

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Schein was to be awarded $128,000.

READ MORE:  First Cambie merchants win damages in Canada Line construction class-action suit 

“We’re very disappointed, yeah, I think we were so hopeful after we were awarded, you know, we had four times in front of the courts and we won all four times.”

In a statement, TransLink said a decline in market value of the lease is how compensation should be determined.

“In the Supreme Court’s judgment from trial, the methodology used by the Court to assess impacts to market value of land interests on Cambie Street, arising from the Canada Line construction, was on the basis of fluctuations in net revenues experienced by three of the businesses during construction.”

It said TransLink’s submission was that the impact to market values, if any, caused by construction, should be assessed on the basis of fluctuations in market value as determined by an expert real property appraiser.”

Translink will be arguing that the Court of Appeal should hold that appraised market value of the land interests, and not net revenue fluctuations, is the correct approach to quantifying construction impacts to land value.

The ministry of transportation said, “The Province is not a defendant to these proceedings and has no comment on TransLink’s decision to appeal.”

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