Monday, 18 September 2006
Home owner sued after balcony collapses
Two men are suing a Green Point homeowner for R1,83 million in the Cape High
Court after they were seriously hurt when a balcony collapsed while they were standing
on it in April last year. In court papers, Russell Brown and John Sloep say the structure collapsed as a result of the negligence of contractors, who did not obtain the services of structural engineer when commissioned to build it by the owner; Pieter Pienaar.
They also claim that the planning department of the City of Cape Town refused to approve
the plans for the balcony on the grounds that a structural engineer had not submitted structural details. The action has been instituted against Pienaar, Melvine Claasen and his business Claasen Home Improvements CC, as well as Ven projects CC and on of its builders, Son Lamberts.
Brown received a severe fracture and a dislocated left foot and ankle, while Sloep injured his left leg and ankle when the balcony collapsed. Following extensive medical treatment, Brown is claiming R853 400, while Sloep is claiming R977 300. But Pienaar denies negligence saying any negligence should be attributed to Claasen Home Improvements or Claasen. Claasen however, denies that Claasen Home Improvements constructed the balcony in the first place.
Ven Projects and Lamberts, in turn, maintain that Claasen Home Improvements employed them as sub-contractors and overruled their decision regarding structural supports for the balcony. They now claim that Pienaar’s instructions indemnified them from damages. Sloep and Brown were also negligent by standing on a balcony which was not adequately supported and which was overcrowded at the time, they say in their papers.