Coffee Shop Boils Over at Olympic Committee

     VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – As Vancouver cleans up after weeks of Olympic hoopla, the city, the federal and provincial governments and the Vancouver Organizing Committee face a lawsuit from operators of a gelato shop who say a construction project crippled their business.




     Mario’s Gelati and three other companies with the same address say they lost more than $2.5 million in business as an Olympic road construction project near the shop dragged on for 7 months – 6 months longer than the defendants promised. The road began in late March 2009.
     “Defendants had knowledge of the devastating financial impact which construction would have on the plaintiffs’ business if construction were to impede access to Mario’s premises in the summer season,” the complaint states.
     “Since commencement of the road construction, the defendants have not restored proper access to or egress from Mario’s premises. In particular, the road construction continued for nearly seven months, until the end of October 2009, and obstructed, prevented or discouraged plaintiffs’ customers from gaining access to and egress from Mario’s.”
     The businesses say there was “a complete failure of coordination” by defendants’ construction crews, and that the project was abandoned while crews worked on other jobs and waited for materials.
     The sidewalk outside the building is still not complete, and limited vehicle access due to road closures hampered not only customers, but made it impossible to rent the space out to “organizations seeking space prior to and during the Olympic period, for which Mario’s premises and its banquet facilities were, and are, ideally suited.”
     Mario’s seeks damages for nuisance, misrepresentation and conspiracy, and an injunction to force the defendants to reopen the road after the lengthy “illegal” closure.
     Plaintiffs Mario’s Gelati, Amato Gelato, Villa Amato Ballroom and Espresso Holdings are represented in B.C. Supreme Court by Daniel Parlow with Kornfeld Mackoff & Silber.

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