City's offer stinks, North York woman says

Wilson Heights resident rejects the city's settlement after 18 house floods

With a new year comes resolutions, but for Shondra Nauth that may not be the case.

The Wilson Heights Boulevard homeowner was featured in the Town Crier last year after a Toronto ombudsman’s report blasted the city and held it responsible for the 18 floods in Nauth’s basement over eight years. Nauth filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city, then rejected an initial settlement offer of $268,000 back in December, because she said it was only based on structural damages up to 2008 and should have been in the neighbourhood of $400,000.

She said she has never received a response from former mayor David Miller’s office. Nauth put in a call to newly elected mayor Rob Ford in December, and said he called back the next day and offered to set up a meeting with her.

However, Nauth says on Jan. 6 a representative of Ford’s office told her the meeting wouldn’t be necessary.

“The water department told the mayor’s office they’re going to settle generously with me,” she said, shortly after returning from a mediation meeting Jan. 7. “But they didn’t have a dime to give me.

“I’m going to have a nervous breakdown, I can’t take much more of this.”

Nauth filed all of her expense receipts with the city but sill left the mediation process empty-handed.

“I gave them a list of what I wanted, they didn’t offer me anything,” she said. “So now, we’ve been to mediation two times, and now they’re going to drag me to arbitration.”

Nauth said that once she heard that, she lost it.

“I get up, I start screaming and shouting and arguing,” she said. “I left my house April 2008 to August 2009, I paid that (rent) money already, I paid for 18 cleanups in the basement, I paid to take down the drywall and replace it … you have the bills in your hands, I’ve proven it all to you and you want to tell me you’re not paying me a dime?”

Now, she says she’s at her wit’s end.

“I don’t know what hope in hell I have right now, I’m just too distraught,” she said. “I thought today it would be over.”

But money isn’t the only issue.

Nauth also said she is looking to meet with a mould doctor after hearing worrisome results of inappropriate mould levels in her home from an independent inspector.

Nauth has since moved out of the home.

As of Jan. 4, she now lives in a rental north of the city, but still comes back to Toronto for basic maintenance of the Wilson Heights home.

Nauth is now waiting to hear about a date for arbitration.

“After eight years, you’re not going to pay me anything?” she said. “(It’s not) as if I’m asking for a handout.

“They’re just stringing me along, wasting time.”

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: Jan 14 2011 1:21 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto