|Lawyer Ewa Gerus|
One Montreal lawyer whose cases I've enjoyed reading about in court documents is Ewa Gerus, who notes on her online bio that she takes a lot of legal aid cases, she also has a Myspace page and a public profile related to a singles site.
Gerus, who also does family law and other cases, has argued 77 cases at the rental board, most of them over the last three years.
One case that caught my eye: Gerus argued for tenants Allison Fallow and Michael Murphy last November, who, as far as I can tell, are a couple with six kids, originally from Chateauguay.
They sued their former landlords Jean Robidas and Lydia Belaidi for - get this -- $50,000.
Their complaints touched on issues from mold to drawers and doors that didn't close properly in the apartment they inhabited from 2004-2011.
I've seen decisions with numbers as high as $7,000 at the rental board, but fifty-thousand dollars? That's not exactly small poh-tay-towze.
On January 31 the judge decided in favour of her clients, but alas, only giving them 0.65% of what they asked for, to the tune of a measly $277.
The judge Linda Boucher, or regisseur, as they position is officially known, blamed Fallow and Murphy for general uncleanliness and the overall poor state of the apartment, as they had a habit of leaving their bathroom window closed and allowing the dryer to shoot air inside the apartment rather than out the vent. They also placed furniture in front of baseboard heaters, which also didn't help.
Additionally, their claim of having poor insulation inside the walls was not supported by any real evidence, as they'd never actually opened the walls to look inside.
So that judgement wasn't exactly a great success for Gerus or her clients.
I have no reason to doubt that Gerus is a competent lawyer and for the record, I've never spoken to her or anybody involved in any of her cases.
She was a bit more conservative with her claims for Ian Herbert, shooting for $5,335 and managed to win him $687 or thereabouts, still no jackpot though.
Gerus helped in a highly-charged rental dispute between Myrtle McLaren and Linda Chernabrow with claim-counterclaims that went up to $15,000 three years back in a case which saw one side describe the other as, "hyperactive uncontroll wickedness, destructive and evil (sic)." But once again that was settled for a small fraction of that.
The rental board can sometimes be a casino, as I have learned, sometimes painfully.
So there's no blaming a lawyer for swinging for the fences, because why not? But if a tenant has dreams of scoring $50,000 and then only gets $300, well that might be a bit of a let-down.