Displaced business owners filing class-action lawsuit against landlords, crane operators
HALIFAX -- Some of the businesses forced to evacuate after the crane collapsed in downtown Halifax are heading to court.
They are filing a class-action lawsuit against their landlords.
"We're losing out on those people passing by and seeing something great in the window and saying, I need to pop in and get that," said Debbie Morgan, the co-owner of Thornbloom.
She and fellow owner Elaine Shortt say they're not even sure how much money they've lost so far.
They are lead plaintiffs in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the building landlords, the crane installers, and the crane designers.
While Thornbloom is still closed, Thumpers Salon opened back up last week.
Owner Malcolm Norton estimates they lost tens of thousands of dollars when they were closed for more than five weeks.
"The beginning of September for us is back-to-school season," Norton said. "All the university students come back, it's a big bump in our business, it's what pays the rent for the Trillium building."
Lawyer Ray Wagner is representing the businesses in the suit.
He says it isn't personal -- it's about compensation.
"There's a high probability of resolution," Wagner said. "We know that this is not a personal matter, this is not about character, this is not about individuals. This is about business to business, and insurance."
Wagner is also representing residents who were displaced.
But first, people like Morgan need to get back inside their businesses, and figure out how much they've lost.
"It's been very stressful, mostly because of not having a timeline," Morgan said. "If we had a timeline, we could have said 'ok, maybe we should look at another avenue to do our sales,' but we were looking at two-week increments."
CTV News requested a comment from the landlords, W.M. Fares, but it was not available by airtime.
People hope to get inside of their businesses soon, but even then, there's still a long process ahead of them.
Just getting this class-action lawsuit certified could take another year, but they say they are in it for the long haul.
With files from CTV Atlantc's Emily Baron Cadloff.