Businessman sues Vancouver independent school to return $500,000 donation

BIV's lawsuit of the week

Businessman Bruce Cran is suing the Madrona School Society, which runs the Madrona Independent School on West 10th Avenue in Vancouver | Google Earth

Businessman Bruce Cran is suing the Madrona School Society, demanding a $500,000 donation back after the school and its board allegedly failed to live up to conditions upon which the money was donated.

Cran filed a notice of civil claim against the so-called independent school and some current and former board members including Jeffrey Benna, Doran Chandler, Deborah Hobson, Shelley Hulko, Karen Livingstone, Ivor Luk and Jay Schlosar.

The Madrona School Society runs the Madrona Independent School on West 10th Avenue in Vancouver, where tuition runs $20,000 a year for children in kindergarten up to Grade 10. Cran claims his children attended the school from 2014 to 2017. In October 2015, Cran claims he provided a conditional $500,000 donation to Madrona if “management of the school would be consistent,” as well as guaranteeing that principal Kelly Reynolds would be kept on staff. In addition, he was to “be informed and provided financials of how and when the money was being used; and the funds would be put towards the construction or new lease of a single building school.

“The funds were provided as a conditional gift on the understanding that if the conditions subsequent were not satisfied, the funds would be returned to the plaintiff,” the claim states. “The plaintiff delivered the funds to Madrona through an agent, Ms. Rosanne Day, so as to preserve the anonymity of his children.”

When Madrona allegedly failed to satisfy the conditions, Cran demanded the money back in March 2017 but the school allegedly refused to return it.

The directors were aware of the conditions subsequent and knowingly breached those conditions by wrongly appropriating or converting the funds,” the claim states.

Cran seeks a declaration that the funds “constitute a conditional gift” and an order compelling Madrona to return the donation with interest.

The allegations have not been tested or proven in court and none of the defendants had responded to the claim by press time.