Penhorwood condo owner outraged by lengthy legal battle
Fort McMurray News
03 April 03 2013

More than two years after a midnight evacuation from the condemned Penhorwood Condos, a Fort McMurray woman is voicing her frustration over legal lags.

Tammi Conner tells Fort McMurray News the Condo Board has failed to communicate with owners deadlocked in a $60 million lawsuit, saying they haven't received official communication on the lawsuit, seeking compensation for shoddy construction, since October of last year.

Conner says owners facing financial ruin are frustrated with delays in mediation and the freeing up of funds set aside for legal fees.

"I don’t think they’re looking for a solution. It’s a complicated case, but, something that is still going forward. We’ve been left in the dark," says Conner.

“I’m outraged that I have to keep glued to the news to hear if there is any updates, and when I do hear an update it is stuff that I already heard before, it’s frustrating. It seems like you’re in a fishbowl, there’s no way out, you can’t get out, you just have to continue to pay and work hard and pray that something goes your way."

Chair of the Penhorwood Board of Directors Christine Burton says she is in personal contact with owners on a daily basis.

"I talk to about 2-3 owners a day on my personal time to give them details of the updates," says Burton.

"My phone number is all over our website, and I talk to an awful lot of owners about the situation. Myself and the board are very accessible in that way."

Conner says otherwise.

"They’re not getting e-mails returned from the board, they’re hanging on to a thread, people are really struggling, and they just want answers."

Burton says it's a very difficult and complex situation.

"We are dealing with 168 very angry owners because they have lost their home. They are, most of them, in serious financial difficulty, and there doesn’t appear to be any fast solution to this.”

Conner and other residents are hosting a meeting at the Thickwood Tim Horton's at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday to air their grievances and explore their legal options.

“It’s a place to vent, a place to put our heads together, and we want people to know that we can’t just sit back and let this take its course," says Conner.

"It’s not going to go anywhere. We have to stand up, we have to let people know, that this a whole situation hasn’t gotten any further in two years.”

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