Negligent Building Inspection

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 18th, 2005 — Posted in Municipal Law

Parsons v. Finch and City of Richmond et al., 2005 BCSC 1733, examines the City of Richmond’s duty of care to a home owner in the case of a house that settled on unstable soil after it was built. The house was built on top of an area that had a substantial amount of peat in the subsurface. The subsurface was not adequately prepared and the house suffered severe differential settlement.

The City had a policy that it would use a “professional design” process for building permit applications as opposed to on site inspection process. The city only ensures that all the necessary professional reports, subsoil tests and letters of assurance be submitted in the permit application process in conformity with the Building Code requirements. In other words the City only makes sure that the owner’s experts do their investigations and submit their reports according to the Building Code. The City is not responsible for the actual investigations or design.

The Court held that the City’s “professional design” process was a policy decision and that the City had met all obligations to the plaintiff. The City was found not to be liable.

US: Secret Citizen Surveillance

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 17th, 2005 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law

Check out this Washington Post article. Apparently the US Government has been conducting physical and electronic surveillance on numbers of its citizens in secret under the NSA Domestic Eavesdropping progam.

“He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake He knows if you’ve been bad or good So be good for goodness sake …”

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 10th, 2005 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law

In the spirit of the season:

we have the cell phone that knows who is using it. Posted on this before. Now this: cell phone tracking as discussed at CNET, the International Tribune, and engadget. Apparently the cell phone company knows where its cell phones are within 300m’s of accuracy.

Who needs GPS?

Two New Blogs

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 9th, 2005 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law

Found two new Blogs:

Ontario Commercial Litigation: It’s Canadian how could you not like it.

The Employment Law Bulletin
: Well written substantive content on US/Texas employment law.

Welcome to the fold.

Issue Estoppel: Arbitration and Human Rights

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 9th, 2005 — Posted in Human Rights Law, Labour Law

The issue of concurrent jurisdictions and the route that a matter will take just doesn’t seem to want to be settled. Kind of funny in a way: finality just won’t come to the problem of settling finality in this arena of decision making.

Here is another case, Smith v. Canadian National Railway, [2005] C.H.R.D. No. 19, that deals with the issue of competing jurisdiction between arbitration and a human rights body. The case gives a complete and brief synopsis of the state of law in this area and outlines the Danyluk argument.

For perhaps, the wrong reasons, the result in this case is that you get to make your argument at arbitration and do it over again in front of the human rights body.

I’m just waiting for the day when an arbitrator tells someone they can’t go back to work and the following administrative tribunal orders an employer to take that person back.