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Topsoil came with glass, rocks, condoms, claims Langley lawsuit

Family seeks $80,000 to excavate yard and start with new turf
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A lawsuit claims new topsoil full of glass, rocks, and other garbage made a Langley family’s lawn too dangerous to mow. (Black Press Media files)

A Langley family is suing a Surrey topsoil company for more than $80,000 after the firm provided dirt that allegedly contained rocks, glass, and condoms.

Jason Fan and his mother, Hui Lan Gao, bought 208 cubic yards of lawn soil for $3,261.44 from Super Soil Ltd. in May 2020.

The soil was to be placed on top of the grass on Fan’s 22,500 square foot property in South Brookswood.

In a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Sept. 13, the family claimed that the soil was intended as top dressing to help improve the quality of grass on the site.

The soil was delivered on May 8 and the family spread the soil across the grass on May 10.

They almost immediately developed concerns.

The soil contained “various forms of garbage and debris such as rocks, glass, condoms, etc.,” said the statement of claim.

The family had the soil tested, and the statement of claim says that not only was it full of garbage, it was overall a deficient mix of sand, soil, and organic matter, high in calcium, deficient in nitrogen and sulfate, dangerous to walk on because of the glass, and dangerous to mow because it was so full of gravel.

The lawsuit claims that Super Soil wasn’t very responsive when contacted about the issues, passing phone calls to other staff, or telling Gao and Fan that they would call back.

After emails in late May and mid-June, Super Soil offered free additional soils, but the Fan family turned them down.

In addition to the return of the purchase price of $3,261, Fan and Gao are seeking $80,000 for the cost of fully excavating the soil and putting down new turf, along with unspecified damages for stress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of the property.

None of the claims in the lawsuit have been tested in court. A legal response from Super Soil to the lawsuit has not yet been filed.

“We are aware of the lawsuit,” said Alula Berhe, a manager with Super Soil.

“It’s a very frivolous lawsuit,” he said, and added that the company was confident of its chances in court.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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