A lawsuit over three stormwater floods of a building over the past year has been launched against Langley City. (Langley Advance Times file)

A lawsuit over three stormwater floods of a building over the past year has been launched against Langley City. (Langley Advance Times file)

Flooded apartment building sparks lawsuit against Langley City

A downtown landlord claims a lack of storm sewer upgrades is negligence

A Vancouver-based landlord is suing Langley City, claiming inadequate storm drains have flooded an apartment building he owns three times in the last year.

In a lawsuit filed on Nov. 9 last year, Larry Calvin Luther alleges that the City’s drains haven’t been upgraded in decades and now can’t keep his building safe.

According to Luther’s statement of claim, he owns the building at 5360 204th Street through a trust called the Larry Luther Trust Fund.

The four-storey apartment building suffered a flood after a hailstorm and heavy rainfall on May 12 last year.

“The water caused damage to common areas of the building, certain suites in the building, the carpets, flooring, walls, structural elements, and other equipment, possessions, and property,” Luther’s claim says.

Then there were two more similar incidents, one on Aug. 21, and another on Sept. 24, Luther alleges.

The lawsuit pins the blame on a storm drain pipe which runs north-south under 204th Street on the west side of the apartment building.

Storm water from Luther’s building runs west into a catch basin and then into the storm drain, and from there to the Nicomekl River to the south.

“The large volume of rain which occurred on or about May 12, 2020, Aug. 21, 2020, and Sept. 24, 2020 caused the storm drain to be filled with water to the extent that the water in the line from the building to the defendant’s [Langley City’s] storm drain could not enter the storm drain and backed up into the building,” the lawsuit alleges.

Luther’s suit claims the storm drain hasn’t been upgraded since 1975, and that multiple new buildings have been connected to it since then.

He alleges the City has been negligent in failing to design or maintain its storm drain system, and by allowing more construction in the area that increased runoff.

Luther is seeking damages from the City, including the costs of repairs and clean up and replacement of goods and fixtures damaged by the three flooding events.

None of the claims he made has been proved in court.

A response from the City was not yet available on the Court Services Online system as of this week.

A representative for Langley City said the City cannot comment as the matter is before the courts.

BC Supreme CourtCourtLangley CitySevere weather

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