Windsor law firm to launch class action against Westcourt Place owner
WINDSOR -- A Windsor law firm intends to launch a class action lawsuit against the owner of Westcourt Place on behalf of the building’s displaced residents.
Strosberg, Sasso, Sutts LLP is stepping in to launch the legal action in what the firm says is a move to protect residents’ rights after a fire on Tuesday left more than 200 residents homeless.
“Imagine being unable to live in your home, unable to access your belongings and not knowing when you can get back,” said Sharon Strosberg, a partner at the firm. “Understandably, there’s a high level of agitation.”
Strosberg says there have been a number of residents who have expressed a desire to begin litigation against the building’s owner.
CTV News has learned the firm intends to launch a class action suit on Monday. A website has been created to allow residents to join the class action.
“It’s advantageous to start it now to get the tenants organized so they know what their rights are,” said Strosberg.
Westcourt Place is still closed to tenants and business owners following the Tuesday morning car fire that sent thick, black smoke billowing into Windsor’s downtown.
Three residents and two firefighters had to be taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation. All have since been released.
On Thursday, residents still did not have clarity as to when they could return to their homes.
“All we have is the clothing on our back and my husband needs medication and I need medication and that’s up there,” said Marvic Dalrymple, a resident at Westcourt Place.
Residents like Dalrymple had an opportunity on Thursday to return to their homes one-by-one with an escort to grab whatever belongings were deemed essential.
But, it won’t be until Saturday at the earliest residents will be able to return to their homes.
The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal needs to first conclude its investigation and regulatory agencies will need to give the necessary approvals before the building can be re-occupied.
"It's really hard right now to have an estimate but we're advising all residents it could be an extended time period they won't be able to return," said Stephen Laforet, the Chief of the Windsor Fire and Rescue Service.
The City of Windsor continues to house people in a temporary shelter at the WFCU Centre. On Wednesday night, 26 people, including four children, stayed the night on a cot instead of in their own bed.