2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

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brentville
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2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

Everyone keeps talking about launching a class action suit against the Province for damages suffered by the 2017 Okanagan Lake levels but I've seen no action...here it is! I want to hear from everyone that has been damaged. This includes businesses as well as private property Owners.

2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit
If you feel you've been financially damaged by the 2017 Okanagan Lake high water then click the link below and sign up (it's absolutely free and no personal info will be released without your express permission.):
http://www.oklst.com/2017Flood/class_action.html

A properties address and damages list will be maintained here:
http://www.oklst.com/2017Flood/list.txt



Why is the Province liable?

1. The Province controls Okanagan Lake levels therefore property damage from flooding is NOT an "Act of God".
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/spd/ecc/docs/p ... sld015.htm

2. Such flood control infers a duty of care to save harmless both public and private property Owners from their actions.

3. Public entities are being fully compensated for damages from the flooding yet NOTHING has been changed to include private Owner losses. http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws ... ide/124_95
Provincial Assistance Regulation is primarily applied to "Acts of God"...this was NOT an "Act of God"!

4. The Province has admitted they deliberately left the lake level +/- 400mm higher than normal this year.

5. Their reasoning for this higher than normal level was an anticipated drought where lower lake levels might:

a. damage sport fishing habitat
Sorry, sport fishing does NOT take precedence over our private property rights!

b. not supply sufficient water for downstream irrigation use
Rather than building the proper infrastructure, the Province, has relied upon a guessing game to establish how much water to retain in Okanagan Lake for downstream irrigation needs. Millions have been spent to construct and maintain downstream irrigation works yet NOTHING has been spent to guarantee sufficient seasonal volumes without the risk of flood damage. If the Okanagan Flood Control System included a pumping/siphon system, downstream irrigation needs would be met without any flood risks. http://www.oliverdailynews.com/bizpages/Gallagher.pdf

6. Kim Hyatt of DFO, who co-wrote the program being used to estimate the appropriate lake level states, "The issue with water management this year in particular comes down to limitations on River Forecast Centre abilities to accurately predict rapidly changing water supply conditions pertaining to late winter snowpack and melt as well as Environment Canada’s limited “skill” in forecasting future weather (i.e. 3-5 day forecasts are good; 10-day forecasts are often barely useable and certainly are not reliable)." The data being used for even a 10 day forecast is NOT reliable!

Conclusions:

The Province literally guesses at lake levels to balance flood risks vs. maintaining downstream seasonal volumes. Shaun Reimer has admitted it's a crap shoot. If a pumping/siphon system, similar to that already installed in the Oliver Canal works, had been in place, the 2017 flooding would never have happened. Considering the millions spent to construct and maintain the Oliver Canal, to NOT construct works that would negate flood damage and maintain downstream seasonal volumes is a "lack of duty of care" by the Province.


"How do you start a class action?
Under BC law, a person who has been hurt or suffered loss can apply to the BC Supreme Court to be the representative plaintiff in a lawsuit for a group of people. These people also have to ask the court to certify the lawsuit as a class proceeding. The lawyer for the representative plaintiff becomes the lawyer for all the class members. A defendant in two or more proceedings may also ask the court to convert those into a class proceeding.

Almost all class actions that are certified are eventually settled. If a court doesn’t certify a class action, the members of the group can usually sue individually, as if the class action had never started."
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws ... 4_95#part3
stevemic
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by stevemic »

:digging:
You can say whatever you please,
as long as the Mods agree
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brentville
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

stevemic wrote::digging:

I hope those aren't contaminated sandbags you're emptying on the beach [icon_lol2.gif]
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IllGetRightOnthat
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by IllGetRightOnthat »

Humm, possibly a lawyer? ^^^ I just love the opportunists at work. This has been discussed at length already, good luck with that. Hoping the idea sinks to the bottom of the lake.
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brentville
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

IllGetRightOnthat wrote:Humm, possibly a lawyer? ^^^ I just love the opportunists at work. This has been discussed at length already, good luck with that. Hoping the idea sinks to the bottom of the lake.


"opportunists"???
Maybe the Fire Dept should stuff a fire-hose in your front door and open'r up just in case there might be a fire!
Well there might have been a drought according to Provincial calculations but it was a deluge instead...ooops, so Sorry!
You of course wouldn't object to property damages or attempt to be reimbursed for the financial loss would you? Ya, right!

Read this email from Kim Hyatt of DFO, who co-wrote the program being used to estimate the appropriate lake levels...

Image
"...forecasts are often barely useable and certainly are not reliable."
The Penticton flood gates are being operated by the Marx Brothers for Christ's sake!

The Province is paying Okanagan Municipalities for the same damn things that private property Owners lost and we'd also like to be reimbursed in the same manner. Where's the problem?
Even Steven
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by Even Steven »

Don't make it personal
Last edited by dieseluphammerdown on Jul 11th, 2017, 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: off topic personal attack
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brentville
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

Personal attack
Last edited by dieseluphammerdown on Jul 11th, 2017, 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: personal attack
JBX
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by JBX »

Just no, you build near the lake don't cry when you get flooded.

What's next, sleeping on train tracks then suing when you get your legs cut off?
"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." -George Orwell
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brentville
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

JBX wrote:Just no, you build near the lake don't cry when you get flooded.
What's next, sleeping on train tracks then suing when you get your legs cut off?


"you build near the lake don't cry when you get flooded."
Do you also think, if you go on a BC Ferry, don't cry when you drown? :135:

What is the importance of property rights?
"Prosperity and property rights are inextricably linked. The importance of having well-defined and strongly protected property rights is now widely recognized among economists and policymakers. A private property system gives individuals the exclusive right to use their resources as they see fit."

This wasn't a natural disaster. The Province controls the level of the lake, not God. In their ignorance, they deliberately left the lake level some 400 mm higher than normal on the wrong assumption that a drought was coming. They've been gambling with upstream flooding vs. insufficient downstream water supply for years and this time they rolled craps! Their irresponsible calculation methods, supported by Kim Hyatt's email, damaged the ecology as well as both public and private infrastructure. I've also detailed how all this damage could have been reasonably avoided.

The Highways, Municipalities and Regional Districts "build near the lake" and suffered the same damage. They are being reimbursed for all damages by the Province. Are you inferring they shouldn't build near the lake. Please look up "tort" and "duty of care", then let me know why, what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander in this situation.
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GordonH
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by GordonH »

Its the hazard of either buying or building on Provincially known floodplain. Good luck with your court case.
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by bctollefson »

I'm not sure you fully understand negligence, duty of care or tort law. You're not entirely off the mark here, but your assumption that someone could possibly have controlled the situation regardless of the weather variations is crazy. The province does not control the level of the lake, but rather attempts to control the level, and mitigate potential risks. They only have a small amount of control in situations that far exceed the "design parameters" of the system they are trying to control.

One of the requirements for proving a duty of care includes showing:
"the defendant’s control over the situation that gave rise to the harm, and the plaintiff’s vulnerability to that harm;"
http://www.hobartlegal.org.au/tasmanian ... -duty-care

I assure you, it may seem like there was human control over this situation, but in reality there was very little.

The estimate now, is that in order to avoid going past "full pool" with the unexpected amount of snowfall in Feb/March/April, the dam would have needed to be fully open in November (Big White had maybe 1 ft of snow at the bottom and 4 ft at the top by then?? They also had considerably less snow at the end of November this past season than the year prior, which led most people to assume we would have a low snowpack year. AND, we had one of our wettest springs on record for rainfall...).

There is no way that someone could have predicted in November that we would see this level of snow/rain in the late winter and spring. And as was mentioned earlier, the forecast was for a drought (which as we're seeing the past two weeks and in the forecast for the remainder of the summer, is not really a crazy forecast). Had they opened up in November, they would have brought the lake down WAY below full pool in anticipation of precipitation that no one was expecting to actually arrive. This also would have had significant impacts on the ecology of the lake and the surrounding inhabitants. True, maybe the impact would have been less than what ended up happening with the flooding, but you work with the information you have on hand. If you took the opposite approach and assumed every year that we would have record flooding, the lake would be low every year, meaning there would be an annual negative impact rather than one every 69 years (the last record flood being 1948). Either way, this isn't negligence nor a breach of duty of care.


“The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it.” - Wilhelm Reich
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brentville
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

bctollefson wrote:I'm not sure you fully understand negligence, duty of care or tort law. You're not entirely off the mark here, but your assumption that someone could possibly have controlled the situation regardless of the weather variations is crazy. The province does not control the level of the lake, but rather attempts to control the level, and mitigate potential risks. They only have a small amount of control in situations that far exceed the "design parameters" of the system they are trying to control.
One of the requirements for proving a duty of care includes showing:
"the defendant’s control over the situation that gave rise to the harm, and the plaintiff’s vulnerability to that harm;"
http://www.hobartlegal.org.au/tasmanian ... -duty-care
I assure you, it may seem like there was human control over this situation, but in reality there was very little.
The estimate now, is that in order to avoid going past "full pool" with the unexpected amount of snowfall in Feb/March/April, the dam would have needed to be fully open in November (Big White had maybe 1 ft of snow at the bottom and 4 ft at the top by then?? They also had considerably less snow at the end of November this past season than the year prior, which led most people to assume we would have a low snowpack year. AND, we had one of our wettest springs on record for rainfall...). There is no way that someone could have predicted in November that we would see this level of snow/rain in the late winter and spring. And as was mentioned earlier, the forecast was for a drought (which as we're seeing the past two weeks and in the forecast for the remainder of the summer, is not really a crazy forecast). Had they opened up in November, they would have brought the lake down WAY below full pool in anticipation of precipitation that no one was expecting to actually arrive. This also would have had significant impacts on the ecology of the lake and the surrounding inhabitants. True, maybe the impact would have been less than what ended up happening with the flooding, but you work with the information you have on hand. If you took the opposite approach and assumed every year that we would have record flooding, the lake would be low every year, meaning there would be an annual negative impact rather than one every 69 years (the last record flood being 1948). Either way, this isn't negligence nor a breach of duty of care.
“The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it.” - Wilhelm Reich


Thank you for the well presented post!

"duty of care"
The defendant’s control over the situation is very simple. The Province operate the gates and if these were welded shut at 400 mm below February normal, upstream properties would never flood again. They don't do this as downstream water users would periodically suffer a lack of water. The Province took it upon themselves to operate these works and strike a balance between upstream flooding and sufficient downstream irrigation water. They immediately assumed a duty of care to never damage upstream properties in deliberate attempts to provide sufficient water for downstream irrigation.
The plaintiff’s vulnerability to that harm. It's no secret that screwing up could flood upstream properties. Only a idiot would not be aware of the potential risks.

"The province does not control the level of the lake"
I beg to differ. They gambled that there was going to be a drought and accordingly left the lake +/- 400 mm above normal last February. Then there was a deluge. Minimal control you say? No, just enough control to cause damages in the hundreds of millions!

"...but your assumption that someone could possibly have controlled the situation regardless of the weather variations is crazy". If they welded the gates 800 mm below where they were this February, there would be zero risk of flooding ever again. However, downstream irrigation needs wouldn't be met and $140 million in crop revenue would be lost. THIS IS THE ONLY TRUE REASON THE PROVINCE PLAYS WITH THE LAKE LEVEL.

Now take this to it's logical conclusion. Setting levels based on what the weather may be in 3-4 months is a crap shoot at best. The Province knew this yet failed to investigate better solutions. Why, because they were already funding construction and maintenance of downstream water works. The solution is quite simple, leave the lake level low (minimal flood risk) and when seasonal irrigation water is needed, pump it into the Okanagan River. Too expensive? No, flooding upstream properties is expensive! They already have similar works at the intake of the Oliver Canal. They built all this downstream infrastructure yet didn't spend a dime to guarantee sufficient water without the risk of damaging upstream properties? This is a total "lack of duty of care"!
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by JBX »

brentville wrote:
JBX wrote:Just no, you build near the lake don't cry when you get flooded.
What's next, sleeping on train tracks then suing when you get your legs cut off?


"you build near the lake don't cry when you get flooded."
Do you also think, if you go on a BC Ferry, don't cry when you drown? :135:

What is the importance of property rights?
"Prosperity and property rights are inextricably linked. The importance of having well-defined and strongly protected property rights is now widely recognized among economists and policymakers. A private property system gives individuals the exclusive right to use their resources as they see fit."

This wasn't a natural disaster. The Province controls the level of the lake, not God. In their ignorance, they deliberately left the lake level some 400 mm higher than normal on the wrong assumption that a drought was coming. They've been gambling with upstream flooding vs. insufficient downstream water supply for years and this time they rolled craps! Their irresponsible calculation methods, supported by Kim Hyatt's email, damaged the ecology as well as both public and private infrastructure. I've also detailed how all this damage could have been reasonably avoided.

The Highways, Municipalities and Regional Districts "build near the lake" and suffered the same damage. They are being reimbursed for all damages by the Province. Are you inferring they shouldn't build near the lake. Please look up "tort" and "duty of care", then let me know why, what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander in this situation.


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you get on a plane don't cry if you crash, if you get on a boat don't cry if you drown.
We all every day are faced with choices we balance the good vs the risk and decide if its acceptable.

If you build where you can get flooded, don't cry when your flood. It's your choice to accept that risk, DEAL with that responsibility. Society doesn't owe you protection from poor choices, we have allowed that too much, it needs to stop.
"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." -George Orwell
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brentville
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by brentville »

JBX wrote:Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. [If you get on a plane don't cry if you crash, if you get on a boat don't cry if you drown. We all every day are faced with choices we balance the good vs the risk and decide if its acceptable.

If you build where you can get flooded, don't cry when your flood. It's your choice to accept that risk, DEAL with that responsibility. Society doesn't owe you protection from poor choices, we have allowed that too much, it needs to stop.


"If you build where you can get flooded, don't cry when your flood"
We are a nation of laws. I purchased property that has no Municipal water but the rules allow me to construct a lake water pumping system. I followed the rules and pay for the water. Deliberate actions by the Province damaged these works. The law says they are liable for damages if their actions were negligent. Municipalities are being compensated for the same flood damages stemming from the Province's negligence. Please tell us why private property Owners shouldn't be compensated in exactly the same manner.

"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you get on a plane don't cry if you crash"
If those responsible for this plane crash were negligent, you have a right to compensation.
That's the law!
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Re: 2017 Okanagan Lake Flood Damage Class Action Suit

Post by Hassel99 »

brentville wrote:
"If you build where you can get flooded, don't cry when your flood"
We are a nation of laws. I purchased property that has no Municipal water but the rules allow me to construct a lake water pumping system. I followed the rules and pay for the water. Deliberate actions by the Province damaged these works. The law says they are liable for damages if their actions were negligent. Municipalities are being compensated for the same flood damages stemming from the Province's negligence. Please tell us why private property Owners shouldn't be compensated in exactly the same manner.


Are you sure? I don't think the province emergency payments to municipalities are based on negligence. I think the province has an obligation to municipalities in its domain but I do not think It is based on negligence in the same way the court finds negligence. For example a lot of that money is due to stream overflows and has nothing to do with the lake which you say is where the negligence occurred.

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