Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bathroom at root of complaint

Senior says suite doesn't accommodate her needs

  • Print
Dorothy Englot has mobility issues, which means she needs a number of special devices to help her use the toilet and bathtub in her suite.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Enlarge Image

Dorothy Englot has mobility issues, which means she needs a number of special devices to help her use the toilet and bathtub in her suite.

An 85-year-old woman's frustration over a new life-lease suite she moved into in January 2011 could have been avoided if the condo developers had been more forthcoming with information about the suite, an inquiry heard Wednesday.

Dianne Brockmeyer, the complainant in a Manitoba Human Rights Commission board of inquiry, testified Wednesday in the hearing she and her mother, Dorothy Englot, would not have signed a lease with Cornerstone Housing Corp. had they known the developer would not be able to install a number of devices and aids Englot, who is disabled, requires to function independently.

The hearing in front of independently appointed adjudicator Peter Sim, a Winnipeg lawyer, is to determine if Cornerstone discriminated against Englot by failing to reasonably accommodate her specific needs based on her disability.

Englot's right leg is without a kneecap and she has a 27-inch-long, half-inch-thick titanium rod that keeps her leg together. She is unable to bend that leg and requires scooters and special walkers to get around and a specific toilet attachment along with grab bars to be able to use the toilet and bathtub as well as other alterations to her living space.

Brockmeyer and her husband, Al Brockmeyer, testified before the lease on the suite was signed, they made it clear they would need the grab bars and toilet attachment mechanism.

As it turned out, the steel-stud construction of the 53-unit Cornerstone Life Lease prevented the installation of the grab bars. As well, the Brockmeyers say, the bathtub was smaller than the standard size, meaning Englot could not have a bath lift installed.

"If there's no grab bars, there would have been no lease and we'll be on our way," Dianne Brockmeyer said.

She said the initial indication from the leasing agent was that it would probably not be a problem and it would be taken up with the board.

But the challenge of getting the work done proved almost nightmarish. Englot was not able to use the toilet or bath in her ensuite bathroom for almost a year and endured many other challenges, including awkward electrical outlets for her chairlift as well as a dispute about a handicap parking space.

Brockmeyer and Englot have spent about $13,000 making alterations to the suite and more work is pending.

The life-lease development was finished in late 2010. A second 50-unit phase II is now under construction. Units are sold for $134,000 (which is refundable when the resident ends the lease or dies) and there is a monthly fee of between $1,290 and $1,600.

Cornerstone is a non-profit corporation owned by a group called the Association of Reformed Christians in Action. Its board members are volunteers.

Retired judge Charles Huband, representing Cornerstone, made it clear expenses for the alterations were the tenants' responsibility.

He also suggested Brockmeyer's contention the steel studs prevented grab bars from being installed might not be correct. He also disputed Brockmeyer's claim the bathtub was smaller than the standard size.

At issue is to what extent Cornerstone disregarded the stated needs of a disabled tenant. Huband is arguing Cornerstone has been compliant.

The hearing continues.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 30, 2014 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The greening of Elphaba the Wicked Witch in Wicked

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Did you suffer any damages from Thursday's storm?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google