Winning Small Claims Court Case in Quebec

Quebec court

Small claims division


Date : April 21, 2010

1. The plaintiffs claim $7000 in damages and interest of the
respondent, their neighbor, who would have to abused of their right to
use a wood stove which caused the plaintiffs a prejudice.

2. The respondent contests the claim for motives described below.

The facts :

3. The facts retained by predominance of the proof are as following :

4. In 2003 and 2004, the parties are neighbors on 102nd St. in Notre
Dame de Ile-PerrotÖ

5. At this time, the plaintiffs complained to the respondent and
asked that they stop using their wood stove because of the smoke that
inconvenienced the plaintiffs.

6. In 2006, the situation has not been resolved. Giulia has developed
breathing problems and makes a complaint to the municipality.

7. The inspector visits the respondentís home and concludes that the
emissions from the respondentís chimney does not constitute a nuisance
according to municipal bylawsÖ

8. At this time, fireman Michael B. is also asked to verify
if the wood stove and the chimney of the respondents are in conformity
with the bylaws. He discovers that there is a small section missing in
the outside chimney. The respondents add the missing section.

9. In 2006, the respondents stopped using their wood stove on
June 11 and begin again 26 August. At this time, the plaintiff sent a
demand letter to the respondents asking that they stop using their
woodstove in an abusive fashion because it causes her many
inconveniences (headaches, nausea, smoke in the house, etc.) as well as
to the rest of her family

10. The respondent responds by letter saying that
they have the right to use their wood stove adding that other neighbors
also use their wood stoves.

11. In December 2006, the plaintiff began legal
proceedings against the respondent. Legal procedures began in January
2010 claiming $7000 in damages and interests for the time period of 2006
to 2009 inclusively.

12. Except during the months of July and August of
each year, the respondents say that they use their wood stove from four
oíclock to the next morning. They also heat through electricity, but use
their wood stove to reduce their heating costs.

13. In 2008, the plaintiff consults allergy and
asthma specialist. In a letter dated June 3, 2008, he states that Ms. Dí
Alesio suffers from moderate allergies to cats and to dust, making her
more sensitive to the smoke from the wood stove.

Pertinent legal articles :

(The judge used the following articles from the Quebec Civil Code : 6,7,
976, 1375, 1457. The translation of these sections of the Civil Code
should be available on the Internet.)

Discussion :

24. The respondent is therefore responsible for the prejudice caused
to the plaintiffs.

25. Given the elements described above, the court concludes that an
amount of $3200 is adequate to indemnify the plaintiffs in terms of
damages and interest.

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