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Antique store owner blames contractor for damaged goods

The owner of a small antique store on Regent Street says nearby road construction damaged some of her merchandise, and she wants the responsible parties to pay for those damages.
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Sheila Osborne, the owner of the Classic Finds antique store on Regent Street, was still cleaning up damaged inventory Friday, after some shelving units toppled over Monday evening. She has blamed Interpaving Limited's work on Regent for the damage. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.
The owner of a small antique store on Regent Street says nearby road construction damaged some of her merchandise, and she wants the responsible parties to pay for those damages.

Sheila Osborne, the owner of Classic Finds, said vibrations from road work just outside her store – especially from a smooth drum roller – caused some shelving units in her store's basement to topple over Monday evening.

The impact left a mess of broken glass and porcelain from a large number of items she sells on consignment.

The city contracted Interpaving Limited to install a trunk watermain and implement road improvements to Regent Street, between Bouchard Street and Walford Road.

Osborne said she first called the city to assess the damages and potentially reimburse her.

The city sent a person to assess the damage and take photos, but said Osborne would need to reach out to Interpaving to apply for compensation.

Shannon Dowling, a spokesperson for the City of Greater Sudbury, said city construction contracts stipulate contractors are responsible for any damage or injuries related to their work.

The next day Glen MacLeod, Interpaving's construction superintendent, visited Classic Finds to assess the damage.

“He sent me an email saying it was basically an accident waiting to happen, and they're not doing anything,” Osborne said.

In the email, MacLeod said the shelving that fell off the wall was fastened with screws into the drywall, but did not have proper drywall anchors.

“It is my opinion that this was an accident waiting to happen regardless of the city contract work being carried out in front of her store,” he wrote.

MacLeod added “any claims for these damages would have to be entertained by the city and not the contractor.”

Osborne said her shelves were installed five years ago without issue.

“I don't believe that had anything to do with the way we installed the shelves,” she said about the damage to her inventory.

As of Friday, Osborne was still cleaning her store's basement and had not done an inventory of the damaged items. But she said they were not insured.

Osborne said she plans to continue pursuing Interpaving to pay for her damaged items.

Jonathan Migneault

About the Author: Jonathan Migneault

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