Residents of Toronto Condos File Class Action Suits over Falling Glass
March 9, 2012

by Megan Headley, specialprojects@glass.com

Two class actions lawsuits were filed on March 7 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on behalf of the owners and renters of condominiums located in Toronto's Murano Towers and Festival Tower over last summer's spate of broken glass balcony railings.

The law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP and Falconer Charney LLP report that they were "contacted by concerned residents" about the falling glass at the condominiums. Fifteen glass balcony panels shattered at the condos named in the suits between April and September 2011, ultimately causing the building owners to replace all of the tempered balcony glass with a laminated glass railing. The plaintiffs in both actions allege that the defendants are responsible for the lost use of their balconies.

Both suits seek, among other things, "a declaration that the builders were negligent in the design, installation and manufacturing of the Glass Panelling and are liable in damages" and "a declaration that the Falling Glass constituted a nuisance." The Murano suit cites the "Builders" as Lanterra Developments Ltd., developer and general contractor; the balcony railing manufacturer and installer, Toro Aluminum Railings Inc.; and H&R Developments Inc., the developer and contractor. Other defendants include Bay Grenville Properties Ltd., the developer, and architectsAlliance, the project architect.

The Festival Tower suit cites the "Builder" as the Daniels Corp., the developer and general contractor, as well as Toro Railings and Toro Glasswall Inc., the manufacturers and installers of the balcony railings. Other defendants include developers King and John Festival Corp. and Toronto International Film Festival Developments Inc.; and architects KPMB Design Inc., Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Kirkor Atchitects and Planners.

Each action seeks general damages in the amount of $15 million, special damages and administrative costs of $4 million and punitive damages of $1 million, as well as interest and costs of the action.

"Our goal is to compensate the class members for the loss of use of their outdoor living space and to motivate the builders to correct the problem as soon as possible," commented Ted Charney, a partner of Falconer Charney LLP, in a press release.

"Outdoor living space in downtown Toronto sells for a premium and is an integral part of condo life. The developers promoted the sale of these units by emphasizing the sizeable balconies and terraces, but the class members have been unable to use their outdoor living space for over a year with no end in sight," added Sharon Strosberg, a partner of Sutts, Strosberg LLP, in the release.

Toro had not responded to USGNN.com™'s requests for comment as of press time.

Look for the March 2012 USGlass for an update on the city of Toronto's investigation of the breakages and efforts to prevent similar such occurrences.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more on this story as it develops.

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