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Sharda and his Vinyl siding in 2008.
REPORTING · 26th October 2010
Walter McFarlane
“That is a B [priority], in fact, it would be an A because if we didn’t go to court, we would go to jail,” said Hall explaining the priority of an item on the District Council’s status report, October 12th, 2010.

Back in 2008, Raghubansh Sharda approached Kitimat City Council with a problem. He had been putting siding on his building using drywall screws. He claimed the building inspector had not told him that he was using the wrong screws and Sharda assumed the screws had passed the inspection, they had not and three days later, the building inspector came to tell Sharda all the siding had come down and needed to be reattached.

On August 25th of the same year, Sharda approached the Kitimat City Council to ask them to not put a lean on the building. Sharda expressed he had not been told by the building inspector as to what type of fastener he was supposed to be using and the inspector observed how he was fastening the siding. Sharda had consulted both the BC Building Code and the company who had manufactured the siding and neither were able to give him a proper answer to his dilemma.

On October 13th, earlier this Month, Sharda and the District of Kitimat were in Court over this issue. Sharda was representing himself and had called in numerous witnesses for the trial which had been scheduled for 2 days. All the City Councillors who had placed the Lean on Sharda’s building in 2008 had been called in, as had the District Engineers, Building inspectors and Management.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan was heard commenting this was her first time ever in a courthouse.

The question which Sharda hoped to prove was whether the building inspector was negligent in the inspection. Sharda hoped to be compensated for the loss of rental, the cost of replacing the screws and emotional pain and suffering.

One by one, Sharda’s witnesses, the City Councillors and others, were dismissed. In the case of the Councillors, it was because the placing of the lean had come after the inspection. If the building inspector was found negligent, he would have other avenues to go after the Council. In the end, Walter McLellen, Peter Brock, Tim Glieg and David Anthony would remain as witnesses.

It was established that Sharda had received the building permit on April 22nd and the building was inspected the first time on June 9th. Anthony was the first witness on the stand. Sharda was quickly able to confirm Anthony was uncertain about the screws during the inspection on the 9th.

Anthony did express his uncertainties to himself out loud during this time, but could not confirm whether he had told them directly to Sharda. There was something which needed to be corrected and inspected before the work could continue. Anthony told the court he had believed he had the time to find out. However, he was uncertain if he had told Sharda to stop working after he corrected the mistake as he had assumed Sharda would know to do such.

After the inspection, Anthony had researched whether or not screws were an acceptable fastener. Both the BC Building Code and the Canadian Building Code were silent. To resolve the issue, he went to the supplier of the vinyl siding. The response he received was as long as the screws were corrosion resistant and 3/8ths inch in length, the use of screws to hang siding was alright.

The screws which Sharda had been used had never been tested for corrosion resistance, nor were they 3/8ths of an inch. In addition, there was a hold harmless clause in the document Sharda signed when he applied for a building permit. They concluded with Anthony leaving the stand, having pointed out the building was finished and never completely inspected.

Among the evidence were two pictures of the building on June 9th and when the building inspector returned a few days later which were taken by Sharda and the Building inspector respectively. Anthony was not able to confirm they were the same building until Sharda pointed to a tear in some of the building's paper on the second day in the trial.

In addition, one piece of evidence, a telephone recording was denied by both The Judge and the District Lawyer because Sharda did not inform Anthony he was being recorded. Oddly enough, Canadian privacy laws require only one party involved in a phone call to be aware of it being recorded.

If there is anything this trial has proven, it is that the long waits for cases to get to court destroy our legal system. This was proven by Anthony’s uncertainty during his first day on the stand.

The trial had to be scheduled to be concluded at a later date.
Comment by what the? on 27th October 2010
how about leaning into this.

it is known as a lien.