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Olympic Village lawsuits inevitable, observer says

Lawsuits by Olympic Village condo owners seeking refunds are inevitable after February’s 30 per cent price cuts, according to an industry observer.

“People who bought at the original prices were going to react in some kind of legal fashion,” said University of B.C. Prof. Tsur Somerville.

Owners of 62 units in five parcels filed lawsuits Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court against the City of Vancouver. They claim marketing was false and misleading, the suites had a slew of deficiencies and rooms were smaller than those represented in presentation centre displays.

“The drop in prices, there is no connection,” said their lawyer Bryan Baynham. “There are fundamental design problems, fundamental problems about the quality of the product.”

Marketer Bob Rennie was not commenting, according to his spokesperson Lesli Boldt. Rennie announced 128 sales worth $99.7 million at the rebranded Village on False Creek in February, but won’t update figures until April 1, Boldt said.

City manager Penny Ballem didn’t respond to an interview request, but spokesperson Wendy Stewart said, “staff need time to look at the documents, we need to understand the allegations.”

Receiver Ernst and Young took over the Village in November because of Millennium Developments’ $740 million debt to city hall and vowed to fix deficiencies.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 Hours.

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