A crane operating near an apartment building in Kelowna, B.C., has become the subject of a civil suit in the BC Supreme Court.
Stober Construction, the owner of Movala, a development under construction, has been barred from using the crane in the airspace over a nearby apartment complex called Palisades, which is owned by Witmar Holdings.
According to court documents, talks began in February of 2022 when Stober asked permission from Witmar to allow the use of the airspace for the crane, but the request was refused due to a recent tragedy.
Witmar cited the fatal crane collapse that happened on July 12, 2021 on St. Paul Street, advising that based on that tragedy, the crane would put hardships and stress on its tenants.
The crane collapse resulted in the death of four workers on the construction site and the death of another individual struck by the crane boom in an adjacent building unrelated to the construction.
“About two weeks ago the crane was hanging over our buildings. They are huge, some tenants contacted me and they felt uncomfortable,” the property manager at Palisade told Global News in a statement.
“There have been complaints about loud noises and things falling down. Since the crane accident a couple of years ago we can’t have any risky situations here.”
According to court documents, the crane used by Stober on the construction of Movala has the capacity to overswing the Palisade, including the terrace, by 20 metres.
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On Feb. 7, Witmar issued a cease and desist letter to Stober.
However, Stober replied to Witmar advising that the crane would not impact the use of the property by its occupants during construction. Then Witmar responded with one simple word: sorry.
The two parties never reached an agreement, and the judge found that Stober acted without securing an agreement on the use of airspace.
They found that Witmar has a strong case for trespass based on evidence that they will suffer irreparable harm should the injunction not be granted.
The courts granted an injunction restraining Stober from trespassing over the airspace at 3195 Walnut St. for four months. Witmar can make an application for a further extension
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