A Divisional Court judge has taken some of the sting out of a ruling against a downtown nightclub that keeps its neighbours up at night, but it’s a blow nonetheless, says a lawyer retained by the bar.
The numbered company that runs Lev3L Vodka Emporium, commonly referred to as Level 3, must still pay neighbour Richard Gordner the maximum allowed in small claims court for being a “nuisance.” But, on appeal, the court has reduced the additional penalties originally assessed against the bar for its “unreasonable behaviour” during the trial.
The decision is troubling, not only to Level 3, but to the entire entertainment industry in Windsor, and is potentially harmful to the economy of downtown Windsor
Gordner, a lawyer who lives in the high-rise condominium building called Royal Windsor Terrace at Park and Pelissier streets, sued Level 3 in small claims court for the bass-thumping music that keeps him up on weekend nights. In a ruling earlier this year, deputy judge Simon R. R. Davies awarded Gordner $25,000 — the maximum allowed in small claims cases.
Noting the seven-day trial stretched over 12 months to accommodate the busy schedule of Level 3’s lawyer and that the bar refused to make any concessions which may have shortened the trial or avoided it altogether, Davies imposed $10,000 in additional penalties on top of $1,000 in costs.
Level 3 appealed the award. In a decision released last week, Divisional Court Justice Russell Raikes upheld the $25,000 award, but struck down the penalties. But the bar, which continued to argue the music Gordner was hearing did not originate from its premises, must still pay the $4,800 bill for a sound engineering company Gordner retained to prove otherwise.
Contacted Monday, Gordner said the appeal court awarded him everything he had been seeking. The original judge who heard the trial imposed the additional penalties without Gordner ever asking for them.