My son and I were visiting family at their condo (in Canada), when in the lobby, he knocked over a statue that broke. The owner of the building has threatened to charge our family member who lives there with the bill. Is this within their rights? Who is at fault?
Province/Territory relating to question: British Columbia
Nothing really, but we don't know if we should pay this bill or fight the claim. No money has exchanged hands. Only emails to our family members who live there
How did this happen?
Was it the fault of the condo corp because of where it was placed?
How much are they saying has to be paid?
My son (who is 4 years old) tripped and fell into a pedestal that was holding the statue. The pedestal was about 5 ft off the ground and the statue weighed about 40-50 lb. They want $1500 for the replacement of the part that broke.
We don't know if it was the fault of the condo corp. All we know is that the statue was in a high traffic area (beside an elevator) and was not secured in any way (otherwise it would not have fallen off when a 40 lb child hit the pedestal).
Luckily he was not hurt.
Neither he nor you did anything wrong.
They did not secure the statue and it was not safe.
There is no reason for them to say that your friend is liable even if you are.
Your child falling in the lobby has nothing to do with your friend in terms of liability.
If they are going to fine your friend and then register a lien you could pay the money for your friend and they sue the condo corp in Small Claims Court to get the money back, if worse comes to wors.
worst comes to worst.
My son was actually injured with superficial lacerations around his eye since the statue landed on him. He is fully recovered now.
They should be happy you are not suing them for negligence.
That is very dangerous for them to have a heavy statue in a busy area open to the public and not have it secured.
It would be another matter had your son been trying to climb up the statue.
But then you would have been liable but not your friend.
Would we have a case for suing them for negligence?
If there were damages.
It may cause them to back off and leave your friend alone if they get a letter from a lawyer.
You can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25.The number is:604.687.3221 or 1.800.663.1919.
One final question: Should we choose to simply pay the $1500 instead of taking this further, would it suffice to have a written receipt from them that they received the money or should we be collecting further paperwork? Once this is paid I do not want to deal with it again.
I think if you decide to pay you should have them sign a release that says they accept this money in full satisfaction of any claims arising from the breaking of the statute, discovered now or in the future.
Great! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help.
You are very welcome.
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