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Owed nothing? Owners of old hospital site want $118K lawsuit thrown out of court

Statement of defence filed by corporations behind former hospital sites accuse security company of 'failing to perform its contractual obligations' and acting 'negligently'
File photo.

The owners of the old General and Plummer hospital sites are adamantly denying they stiffed a Thunder Bay, Ont. company tens of thousands of dollars for security services provided at four properties in Sault Ste. Marie dating back to last year. 

Legal counsel for three companies closely linked to southern Ontario real estate investors Italo Ferrari and Mike Anobile — Leisure Meadows Community Living Inc., 2749978 Ontario Ltd. and 1667271 Ontario Inc. — recently filed a statement of defence against the civil suit launched by RLP Security Services Ltd. this past March.

The lawsuit claimed more than $118,000 damages, in addition to court costs and both pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, over allegations of unpaid security invoices and breach of contract

According to their statement of defence, the corporations linked to Ferrari and Anobile claim they owe their former security company nothing, and are seeking to have their legal costs paid for. They also want to have the civil matter dismissed altogether. 

None of the allegations in the civil suit or the statement of defence have been proven in court. 

In a nine-page statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court March 20, RLP Security Services claims that security services were being provided at the former General Hospital site (941 Queen St. E), the Doctor’s Building (955 Queen St. E), the McCarda Building (369 Queen St. E) and a property located at 977 Queen St. E after initially entering into a contract in March of last year. 

As previously reported by SooToday, RLP Security Services suddenly stopped providing security at the former General Hospital site March 16.  

But the corporations behind the old hospital site allege they were not only slapped with invoices that did not “properly reflect the security services provided at the properties,” but they also overcompensated RLP Security Services after the company “failed to perform its contractual obligations and acted negligently” by failing to provide the required security services as well as skilled employees. 

It’s a sudden change of heart for both Ferrari and Anobile, who told SooToday last month that they were looking to rectify the situation and retain RLP Security Services going forward. 

“RLP Security Services has been providing valuable service to us for many years. Currently, we are reviewing the claim as well as our own records for the account,” said Ferrari at the time. “We understand that there is a balance owed, and we have every intention of remedying the situation and retaining RLP's services in the future.” 

Italo Ferrari, the Woodbridge, Ont. businessman who is the general manager and public face of Leisure Meadows Community Living, is also listed as vice president of 2749978 Ontario Ltd.  The other numbered company, 1667271 Ontario Inc., lists Mike Anobile, a real estate investor based in Vaughan, Ont., as its president, secretary and treasurer. Anobile is also listed as president and secretary of Leisure Meadows Community Living. 

Publicly available records from the provincial land registry office show that Leisure Meadows, a subsidiary of Wilsondale Assets Management Inc., acquired the former Sault Area Hospital site in 2019 for a combined $1.3-million: $450,000 for the old General Hospital site and $850,000 for the Plummer site. 

Last year, the former Plummer Hospital site was placed on the selling block at a price tag of $3.6 million — more than four times than what was originally paid for it — but has since been taken off the market.

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday in Sault Ste. Marie
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