Flamboyant Vancouver developer sued by owners of Prince Rupert condos

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a high-profile Vancouver real-estate developer and author and his partners, alleging “high-handed, reckless and wanton” misrepresentation in a strata-condo development in Prince Rupert.

The suit against Ozzie Jurock, his partners David Barnes and Ralph Case and three joint-venture partners in the condos was filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver by close to 30 owners of the Roosevelt Apartments. Shannon Stange, who owns three units in the 45-unit building and is part of the lawsuit, said Thursday the building is in disrepair and requires at least $500,000 in repairs. The suit alleges that information on the condition of the building was withheld from purchasers in early 2007 and that the defendants maintained the building did not require “any significant maintenance repairs or capital expenses” at the time of purchase.

“The defendants made the disclosure statement representations to the representative plaintiff and the other members of the class negligently or alternatively, recklessly, not caring whether they were true or false and those representations were false, inaccurate or misleading in that the Roosevelt Apartment buildings comprising strata plan BCS2210, including the units, were not free from material defect, rather the deficiencies existed and would require a significant cost for their rectification,” the suit alleges in a 10-page statement of claim filed at the Vancouver Law Courts Wednesday.

The statement alleges the defendants’ conduct “was high-handed, reckless, wanton, entirely without care, deliberate, and in wilful disregard of the plaintiff’s rights and the rights of each class member and indifferent to the consequences” and seeks punitive damages.

“We’ll let the courts decide [the amount],” said Stange. “We know it’s going to take a minimum of $300,000, if not $500,000.” The suit alleges the defendants commissioned an engineering firm to determine the buildings’ condition but requested a “quick assessment of the condition of the buildings and grounds and specifically requested the engineer not to provide a more detailed inspection, which the engineer would otherwise normally have provided for such a property.” The field review identified a number of maintenance problems, said the statement-of-claim information that was withheld from the disclosure statement, which did not indicate it was a “quick assessment” and 18 months old by that date.

The suit alleges that the defendants’ “misrepresentations” have caused the plaintiffs to suffer “loss and damage, including the difference between the purchase price [of approximately $75,000 per unit] and the market value of the real property acquired” and “consequential expenses.”

Jurock and counsel for the defendants were unavailable for comment. However, in a recent letter sent to the plaintiffs’ counsel, lawyers for the defendants disputed the allegations.

“Please make no mistake that our clients take these allegations very seriously and will spare no expense in defending their reputations in a court of law,” wrote lawyer Alex Eged of the law firm Richards Buell Sutton on Dec. 30, 2009. “Further, be assured that our clients will doggedly pursue their wrongful accusers for all costs and expenses incurred in dealing with specious allegations.”

The defendants have two weeks to file a statement of defence. jkeating @ theprovince.com

You must work, or want to work for the daily news, that’s about four days old now.

None of the above. I was busy this weekend and was just peeking around. Did not see it posted on here. Sorry to have wasted our valuable time.