The events of November 14-16, 2021, forever changed the lives of residents and business owners in the Sumas Prairie. On this date, a predictable, foreseeable and preventable tragedy struck the region, upending the livelihoods of individuals who called the Sumas Prairie home.
On these dates, floodwaters from the overflowing Fraser River entered into the Sumas Prairie and wreaked havoc over the real and personal property of residents and businesses in the area. Crops were flooded, inventory was rendered unsalvageable, equipment was destroyed and thousands of animals were drowned, including chickens, cattle and other livestock. On top of that, personal residences were flooded, farms were devastated and a tight-knit community was decimated.
This lawsuit seeks to hold the City of Abbotsford liable for its failures that the plaintiffs allege caused the damages flowing from the Sumas Flood.
A class action is a legal case through which one person makes a claim to the Court on behalf of a similarly situated class of people who have the same or a similar legal claim. A class action seeks to hold a defendant or defendants responsible for their conduct that affects each member of the class by resolving issues that are common to the class in the same legal proceeding, instead of each class member bringing a claim individually.
The individual who first files the claim must ask the Court for permission to proceed as a class action. If permission is granted, and the case may proceed as a class action, the Court will appoint an individual as “Representative Plaintiff” to represent the best interests of the class during the litigation and define the class group. Each person who meets the criteria of the class group is considered a “Class Member”.
This class action is brought on behalf of: all persons (and their estates) who were resident in the Sumas Prairie between November 14-16, 2021 and who claim to have suffered personal injury and/or damage to personal and/or real property located in the Sumas Prairie as a result of flooding in the Sumas Prairie between November 14-16, 2021; all persons (and their estates) who claim to have suffered personal injury and/or damage to personal and/or real property located in the Sumas Prairie as a result of flooding in the Sumas Prairie between November 14-16, 2021; and all persons who claim to have suffered interference with real property located in the Sumas Prairie which they owned, had an interest in and/or occupied as a result of flooding in the Sumas Prairie between November 14-16, 2021. These individuals are referred to as “Class Members”. Individuals who fit any of these criteria do not need to do anything to formally become Class Members as they will be automatically represented by the lawsuit in the event that the action is certified.
Class Members should collect and keep any documentation of loss suffered due to the Sumas Flood. This includes receipts of expenses incurred as a result of the fire, inventory of damaged property and any other relevant information.
The certification hearing in this action is scheduled to begin on April 22, 2024, and last five days. If this proceeding is certified as a class action, the Court will allow this lawsuit to be heard in front of a judge who will decide whether or not a monetary award will be granted.
If you were affected by the Sumas Flood or want to know more about this class action, we invite you to submit your information through the “Contact Form” on this webpage and a representative from Slater Vecchio LLP will reach out to you.