City denies any wrongdoing in car dealership lawsuit

The City of Penticton is denying any wrongdoing in a civil lawsuit in which three local car dealerships

The City of Penticton is denying any wrongdoing in a civil lawsuit in which three local car dealerships are claiming damage while the wastewater treatment plant was being painted.

Penticton Hyundai and Penticton Honda both back on to the waste treatment plant, the third defendant. They claim the city’s contractor, Penticton Sandblasting and Painting (also named as a defendant), allowed overspray to drift on to the dealerships when they were painting the building in April 2015.

Read more: Auto dealers file suit against City of Penticton

As a result, the Hyundai and Honda dealerships claim walls and windows were damaged, along with vehicles on the lots awaiting sale by the paint drifting on to their properties.

In the lawsuit, the dealerships said the city failed to warn neighbouring property owners and businesses that the spray painting work was being done and there was a possibility for overspray.

They filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Penticton and Penticton Sandblasting and Painting on Oct. 3 in B.C. Supreme Court.

In their response to notice of civil claim, the City of Penticton denies that it owed the plaintiffs any duty of care and that any of its employees and/or agents were negligent or breached duty of care. They also are denying that the plaintiffs have suffered any loss or damage caused by the city, other that it was caused by Penticton Sandblasting and Painting.

This is conflicting with what Mayor Andrew Jakubeit told the Penticton Western News on Oct. 11. When asked about the lawsuit, he responded that he wasn’t aware the problem had been taken to the court system. Jakubeit said both he and council were aware of what took place in April 2015, but thought it was being dealt with by city staff.

“This is over a year old. We thought it was being dealt with. It was our contractor who screwed up,” said Jakubeit. “On that case I thought we were just settling it, because at the end of the day, we were at fault.”

Read more: City facing a number of civil lawsuits

Jakubeit added it is the amount of money the car dealerships are seeking that is in negotiation through the lawyers.

The dealerships are seeking damages including the costs of repairs to their buildings and the damaged vehicles, business interruption and other related relief. Penticton Sandblasting has not responded to the claim