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Businesses, residents affected by Halifax crane collapse suing to recoup losses

Crews work to remove the toppled crane in downtown Halifax on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Jesse Thomas/Global News

A proposed class action lawsuit is being filed on behalf of the businesses and residents impacted by the crane that collapsed during post-tropical storm Dorian last month.

Wagners Law Firm announced in a release Friday that the proposed plaintiff of the suit is Thornbloom Boutique Limited.

W.M. Fares Architects Inc., W. M. Fares & Associates Incorporated, Lead Structural Formwork Limited, and The Manitowoc Company Inc. are all listed as defendants on the suit.

READ MORE: N.S. government still hasn’t provided timeline or cost estimate for crane removal

The class action indicates Thornbloom Boutique Limited will represent the other businesses and residents who have endured losses stemming from the closures of streets and sidewalks in the affected area.

“This is having a devastating impact on us. We simply can’t operate without customers having access to our store,” a statement from Thornbloom owners Debbie Morgan and Elaine Shortt reads.

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“We have no choice but to recover losses this way, because it’s been going on too long and there have been no concrete commitments made to provide assistance to us.”

Click to play video: 'Progress slow but steady at site of collapsed crane in Halifax' Progress slow but steady at site of collapsed crane in Halifax
Progress slow but steady at site of collapsed crane in Halifax – Oct 15, 2019

The crane on South Park Street, which is owned and operated by Lead Structural Formwork Ltd., collapsed on Sept. 7 as a result of hurricane-force winds.

A localized state of emergency was announced 11 days after the collapse to ensure its safe removal, and several businesses remain under an emergency evacuation order.

The localized state of emergency zone includes areas within the boundaries of Cathedral Lane, Brenton Street, Brenton Place and Spring Garden Road.

The evacuation order was partially lifted by Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency on Monday after a second crane was brought in to assist with the storm-toppled crane’s removal.

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READ MORE: Halifax fire partially lifts evacuation order for some properties near downed crane

Ray Wagner, lawyer for the class, said the whole situation was one that could have been avoided.

“The consequences need to be dealt with by those responsible,” a statement from Wagner reads. “It’s unfair to those whose lives and livelihoods have been upended to ignore their significant need for a remedy.”

“We also want to ensure that in this construction boom and with our susceptibility to extreme weather, this doesn’t happen again.”

READ MORE: Crew begin dismantling pieces of toppled crane in Halifax

There is still no timeline for when the crane will be removed.

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