River Rock suing city over sewage backup

A lawsuit filed by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation for a sewage backup that forced the temporary closure of River Rock Show Theatre will now go to trial.

On April 23, 2012 a judge alone will hear the case, which stems from a Feb. 13, 2006 incident and names the City of Richmond as a defendant.

In its statement of claim, Great Canadian claims the city’s Van Horne Way pump station failed, causing a sewage backup and forcing the closure of River Rock’s 21,000-square-foot entertainment venue.

The casino’s parent company claims the fault lies with the city and nine other firms responsible for the station’s design, construction and/or service.

Great Canadian says the city upgraded the pump station a year earlier and owed it a “duty of care.” It’s seeking to recover cleanup costs and damage to its building and contents.

The City of Richmond is fighting the claim. According to its statement of defence, it denies that it owed River Rock a duty of care.

The city has approximately 200 pump stations, according to the statement of defence. All are monitored by a computerized system that sends an alarm if there is a malfunction—and the city keeps a staff member on-call to respond to alarms.

If the casino suffered any damage, then it “failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the extent” of the damage, including “failing to notify the city of the sewer backup in a timely manner,” the city’s statement of defence says.

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