The latest in the Orr v. MTCC 1056 Saga: Court of Appeal Decision on Costs

The Court of Appeal has released a further decision on the implementation of its December 2014 decision and the costs. For those unfamiliar with the Orr v. MTCC 1056 case, you can read more in my previous post.

MTCC 1056 was registered as a condominium in 1993. From 1994 to 1997 one of the declarant’s directors owned a unit within the condominium. The director was also a director for the condominium. He added a third storey in the common element attic space of the unit. In 1997 a new owner purchased the unit. She understood it was a three-storey townhouse unit. Unfortunately, the status certificate did not notify her that the third-storey was improper, despite the director’s knowledge of the changes he made to the unit. Shortly after she moved into the unit the condominium demanded that she close up the attic space and return it to its original condition. The owner brought a claim against the condominium, the property manager, her own lawyer, and several other individuals. The condominium added the seller/director to the action.

At trial, the judge dismissed the claim against the property manager and individuals, but found that the condominium, director and lawyer were liable for damages. The owner was ordered to close up the third floor space and pay the condominium rent for the third floor.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal determined that the condominium was not entitled to demand the owner close up the third floor and restore the unit to a two-storey configuration. The Court also found that the property management company was not liable to the owner as it was acting as agent for the condominium and did not owe a duty to the owner. However, the property management company was ordered to indemnify the condominium for the damages it owed to the owner because of her reliance on the status certificate it prepared. The property manager was not entitled to rely upon a clause in its management agreement that limited its liability. The Court upheld the finding that the law firm was negligent in failing to show all of the plans to the owner prior to her purchase. The Court upheld the award of $50,000.00 owed to the condominium from the seller/director.

This most recent decision awarded the legal costs of the appeal as follows:

  • $44,170.81 to the owner by the condominium
  • $44,170.81 to the owner by the owner’s lawyer
  • $42,490.60 to the condominium by the owner’s lawyer
  • $22,651.25 to the property manager by the owner
  • $11,325.62 to the property manager by the condominium
  • $11,325.62 to the property manager by the owner’s lawyer

The legal costs of the trial were awarded as follows:

  • $150,000.00 to the owner by the condominium
  • $150,000.00 to the owner by the owner’s lawyer
  • $100,000.00 to the property manager by the owner
  • $50,000.00 to the property manager by the condominium
  • $50,000.00 to the property manager by the owner’s lawyer.

For those keeping track, the legal costs awarded have exceed $675,000.00 so far and this matter isn’t over yet. There are also the damages awarded, which could exceed another $500,000.00 between the various parties.