Victims treated at the scene ranged in age from 15 to 83. (Shane MacKichan photo)                                Victims treated at the scene when an Aldergrove deck collapsed on April 19 ranged in age from 15 to 83. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Victims treated at the scene ranged in age from 15 to 83. (Shane MacKichan photo) Victims treated at the scene when an Aldergrove deck collapsed on April 19 ranged in age from 15 to 83. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Deck that collapsed in Aldergrove built illegally, Langley Township claims

As lawsuits fly, Township claims the deck was built in secret with no inspections

The deck that collapses, injuring dozens of people and sparking lawsuits, was built illegally, according to Langley Township filings in the ongoing court cases.

Almost 40 victims – from age 15 to 83 – were hurt when a deck collapsed during a wedding celebration in the 5800-block of 268th Street in Aldergrove on April 19.

Since September, lawsuits have begun flying, naming the home’s builders, the owners, a company that rented the home for a wedding celebration, and the Township of Langley. So far, 21 lawsuits appear to have been filed.

Now Langley Township has filed its response, saying the local government isn’t responsible because the deck was both illegal and deficient.

READ MORE: Neighbour recounts ‘15 minutes of insanity; after deck collapses at Aldergrove wedding

Jatinder Kaur Grewal was one of the party-goers who has filed a lawsuit, listing an extensive list of injuries including a broken femur, multiple foot fractures, a broken tooth that required extraction, injuries to her right knee, scarring and soft tissue injuries, and PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue, among others.

READ MORE: Lawsuits filed over Aldergrove balcony collapse

Grewal’s lawsuit names the owners, including the corporation Amaroo Estate, for building a deck that didn’t comply with building codes or local bylaws, and for failing to have it inspected by an engineer or designed by a qualified architect.

Grewal alleges the Township was negligent for failing to have a reasonable system of inspection or maintenance in place.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

The Township’s response details some of the alleged construction issues with the deck, which the Township says was built illegally.

The house where the collapse took place was built in the early 1990s and is a 12,350 square foot home with 11 bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

The original architectural drawings for the home showed a single deck as part of the home, supported by four vertical columns.

Sometime after the home was finished and inspected by the Township, another deck – the one that collapsed – was built. It’s unknown which owner – the home has had three sets of owners, with Amaroo buying the property in 2016 – built the new deck.

“The illegal deck was constructed without any building permit from the Township,” said the Township’s legal response.

No one ever applied for permits or submitted drawings of the deck, the Township claims.

“Construction of the deck was thus carried out surreptitiously and entirely unbeknownst to the Township and, as a result, its construction was never subject to the Township’s inspection.”

The deck’s flaws are then listed.

It was apparently held up by two columns, with the deck only connected to the house’s fascia boards with nails and screws, not extending into or under the house for stability.

There was a gap in the waterproofing at the edge of the deck, which allowed in water and led to rot, the response says.

In addition, the Township now claims that Amaroo Estate was “in the business of providing executive-style furnished accommodations” and that this included renting the property for the April pre-wedding party.

The Township says this was an illegal rental business, run without a business license.

The municipality didn’t become aware of the business until after the deck collapse, says the claim.

The Township denied any responsibility for Grewal’s injuries, or even that she was present on the deck at all.

This is not the first time the building has drawn the attention of the Township. In 2011, a member of the public complained about illegal suites, allegedly being built by unqualified trades workers.

A Township inspection found at least three residential suites as well as a main dwelling unit, with four kitchens and four laundry rooms, and all the work had been done without building permits.

Warning letters and tickets were issued until the suites were removed.

A single legal secondary suite was built in 2014.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langleylawsuit

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Special weather statement issued for Fraser Valley as first summer heat arrives June 20, 2021, and set to persist all week. (Photo by James Day on Unsplash)
Second day of hot temperatures rippling across Fraser Valley

Communities from Abbotsford to Hope will see daytime high maximum temps of 32 degrees

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read