Condo Owner Launches $30 million Class Action Breach of Contract Suit

A disgruntled condo owner is launching a whopping $30 million class-action lawsuit – including breach of contract – against a Toronto developer who she claims didn’t live up to their end of the deal.

After the dark, dismal, snowy and cold winter we’re just getting over in Mississauga and the GTA, the idea of being able to access shopping and public transit without having to go outside has a kind of intrinsic appeal. In fact, the condo owner says that when the developer promised “easy underground access” to Fairview Mall and the Sheppard subway line from the Emerald City Condominiums at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue East, it sealed the deal.

But, when she moved into the newly built unit earlier this year, there was no tunnel and only outside access to the mall or the TTC at the busy corner.

At Issue: What Was The Deal?

The developer’s lawyer is denying that there was any promise to build underground access from the 36-storey condo to nearby facilities.

The plaintiff, meanwhile, claims that promotional videos clearly showed a subway station with a stairway directly into the building. She claims that the price of the condo – over $450K in her case – was inflated by a premium tied to having that underground access. She and the owners of 60 other condos in the building are seeking a rebate of 10%-15% and cite both misrepresentation and breach of contract.

There are a few points that will have to be considered:

  • The fact that she made her decision to buy based on the promise makes it a material breach of contract.
  • Other than the promotional video, when did the allegedly promised access come into the negotiations for the sale?
  • Were any other representations regarding underground access made verbally or in writing – and what proof is there of either means?
  • In other words, it will hinge on the nature of any representations that were made and how they were tied into the pricing of the condo units.

Misrepresentation and breach of contract often come hand in hand as they do in this case. The determination of misrepresentation will hinge on:

  • Whether the statement was made as a fact and not as an opinion,
  • Whether the statement was made to the innocent party and
  • Whether it caused that party to enter into a contract where their benefit was lessened as a direct result.

The Lesson

The lesson here is that no matter what type of contract you are entering into – be it for employment or purchase/sale – you want to make sure that all the components of the deal are put into writing. That adds clarity and avoids misunderstanding. It’s especially true if any particular element is your deal breaker; don’t leave it to chance.

Never Assume – Get the Legal Representation You Need

Employment contracts or contracts of any kind can get complicated and you may not foresee the consequences of specific clauses and actions.

Whether you’re about to sign a contract or you’re currently involved in one and thinking of getting out, the issues can be complex and the consequences far reaching.

Know your rights. Contact the breach of contract lawyers at Petrillo Law today by calling (905) 949-9433 and let us use our expertise to help you make the right decisions. We look forward to hearing from you.

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