Liability for “cavalier disregard”

OK, this has got nothing to do with computers (except that the SkyTrain is completely automated).

For the past three years, Cambie Street, a major thoroughfare with at least four different shopping and business areas on it, has been almost completely shut down for the construction of the RAV (Richmond-Airport-Vancouver) SkyTrain line (aka Canada Line).  (Since it is located almost dead centre in Vancouver, the city has been pretty much bisected for that time, and the traffic hassles have been enormous.)  Originally the line was supposed to be a tunnel, but that was going to take too long and cost too much, so they dug up the entire street.  For three years.

Most of the businesses along Cambie have gone bankrupt in that time: others have moved.

Now a lawsuit for damages has been won by a business owner.

This will, of course be a precedent, and will undoubtedly lead to more judgements (I think other cases are already before the courts) and more lawsuits.

I’ve got to admit to an uncharitable glee over this turn of events.  The RAV line was not prompted, but the decision to actually build it was undoubtedly influenced, by the 2010 Olympics.  The provincial government has been absolutely gaga over having the games here, and has launched a number of “vanity” projects and other measures.  (Latest on the list: for the games, security personnel won’t have to undergo the minimal training and licencing that already exists.  They can get a special certificate which seems to merely verify that they are breathing.)