56621 B.C. Ltd. v. David Moerman Painting Ltd.
Construction. Until May 2016 there were no major issues of any sort at the Goff
Property – neither electrical maladies, mechanical issues, propane leaks or any
other issue outside of regular care and maintenance.
On November 10, 2015 the defendant David Moerman emailed Mr. Goff to
discuss a book Mr. Goff had written. Mr. Goff realized Mr. Moerman owned and
operated a painting company, reviewed his website, and ultimately retained him,
through his company David Moerman Painting Ltd., to stain four of the buildings at
the Goff Property in May 2016. In April 2016 Mr. Goff hired Reay Foster to assist
Mr. Loetscher and Ms. Rosel in readying the Goff Property for the Goffs’ arrival for
the summer of 2016.
Mr. Moerman was advised by Ms. Rosel that a Sikkens stain was previously
used on the buildings at the Goff Property, and it was ultimately arranged that
Mr. Moerman would pick up the necessary amount of the Stain to bring to the Goff
Property. Mr. Moerman advised Ms. Rosel that he had a “really good crew of 3-4
workers” who would be available to do the work. At trial it was clear that
Mr. Moerman hired five workers to do the job in early May 2016; namely, the
defendants Brad Dornian, Dave Giesbrecht, Mike Chan, Joel Friesen and Dylan
Robinson (the “Moerman Stainers”). Of the Moerman Stainers, Mr. Dornian was the
only one with any experience painting (although he had no experience using oil
based stains), and so he was the crew leader. Mr. Moerman did not provide any of
the Moerman Stainers with any training or instruction. Further, he did not alert them
to the fact that oil-based products, of which the Stain was one, were flammable, and
that rags soiled with the Stain could spontaneously heat and catch fire if they were
stored in a way that does not follow the instructions on the warning label.
Mr. Moerman picked up the Stain from two decorating stores: Langley
Decorating Centre (on May 12, 2016) and Fleetwood Painting and Decorating (on
May 14, 2016). He provided the Stain to Mr. Dornian, who together with the rest of
the Moerman Stainers arrived at the Goff Property on May 15, 2016. Upon their
arrival, Mr. Dornian met with Mr. Loetscher and discussed where they should start