Rainbow developers sued over falling rock 

Response to civil claim yet to be filed

click to enlarge DANGER ZONE New signs, concrete barriers reinstalled after a resident was hit by a falling rock in the Rainbow subdivision in May.
  • DANGER ZONE New signs, concrete barriers reinstalled after a resident was hit by a falling rock in the Rainbow subdivision in May.

A local resident is suing Rainbow's developers, claiming a rock fell on his head, cutting it open and causing a concussion.

Christopher James (Jamie) Akehurst filed a notice of civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on June 8 after getting hit on the head near his house at Rainbow.

In it he claims: "On May 26, 2012, (he) was standing at the foot of the excavated area when a rock fell from the excavated area and struck (him) on the head..."

When contacted this week, Akehurst said the lawsuit was ongoing and he had "no comment."

The case is against Whistler Rainbow Properties Ltd. and Whistler Rainbow Properties (2008) Ltd.

A corporate search of the two companies shows the directors are Ali Aguilera, of Toronto, and Luis Eduardo Garcia-Contreras of Rainbow.

"I don't know about any lawsuit," said Garcia-Contreras, when asked by

Pique this week, adding that he is not an owner of the company.

The municipality, however, is aware of the situation.

In response to questions, staff issued a background email on the situation stating that the rock fell due to a normal process of "raveling" or loose rock falling.

A concrete barrier had been removed in the area at the time so residents could park their cars.

"The resident was in this area next to the rock wall when the rock fell and hit him on the head," states the background on the municipal file.

In response, the municipality met with the developer and the concrete barrier was reinstalled and, at the RMOW's request, the developer placed new "Keep out" construction sign and fencing around the base of the rock wall.

Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she was not concerned about the subdivision.

"The development of the subdivision would have had to have met certain geotechnical requirements," she said. "I don't have any concerns, at this point anyway."

In the court documents, Akehurst claims that rocks fell into his property in September 2010 and again in May 2011. Each time he or his wife notified the developers. Akehurst claims that the developers took action "to remediate the danger posed by the unstable nature of the excavated area but these steps were not sufficient."

Akehurst is looking for damages in addition to a mandatory injunction requiring Whistler Rainbow Properties to properly remediate the excavated area to remove the risk of falling rock.

The municipality states:

"The rock wall in question is an active construction site: more work, including blasting, needs to take place for site servicing to the market lot above.

"Following this, the embankment will be completed with "shotcrete" (mesh and concrete, which hold the rock wall together.)"

The defendants have yet to file a response in court to the civil claim.

Akehurst's lawyer, Timothy Pettit, said he did not have instructions to discuss the case, and added that was not expecting the defendant's response within the 21 days timeframe, but shortly thereafter.

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