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Judge questions Brampton's motivation to have developer's lawsuit dismissed

Ontario Superior Court justice calls the city's move to dismiss the lawsuit a strategy "to add time and expense."
Oct. 23, 2017
By Peter Criscione

A judge has criticized the City of Brampton's legal strategy "to add time and expense" in its defence of a lawsuit filed by a local developer.

In a ruling last month Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery rejected the city's motion to dismiss a $1.5 million lawsuit filed by Inzola Main Street Inc., headed by local builder John Cutruzzola.

"I have found this motion was brought for strategic reasons," Emery wrote in his ruling.

Inzola owns a building next to an addition made to Brampton city hall. He sued for $1.5 million arguing the design and height of the addition increases snow loads on his neighbouring building and that during construction there was excess noise, dust and vibration which drove tenants away.

The city sought to have the claim dismissed saying it was filed too late.

In his decision, Emery found "insufficient" evidence supporting the city's claim that Inzola waited too long to file an official claim.

The judge also questioned the city's motivation for bringing the motion forward, calling the move a strategy "to add time and expense."

It's not the first time Cutruzzola and the city have locked horns.

Inzola and the city have an ongoing legal battle over the city's $500 million downtown redevelopment project.

Inzola is suing the city for $28.5 million in a lawsuit alleging it was unfairly disqualified from the bidding process in 2010. The city denies the lawsuit's allegations.

In 2016, five years after Inzola's lawsuit was filed, the city sought to have it dismissed. Then the city reversed course and abandoned its strategy.

Inzola responded by filing for costs and in June Ontario Superior Court Justice Peter Daley awarded $418,000 to the company for its defence of the abandoned motion.

"The interests of the administration of justice were certainly not met as a result of the unexplained delay in the bringing of the summary judgment motion" to have the lawsuit dismissed, Daley said in his June decision.

Daley criticized the city in his ruling saying it "failed to act reasonably," had caused "unexplained delay."

The trial for the $28.5 million lawsuit has been set for the spring of 2018.