Alleged copycat home renovation sparks $2M lawsuit

A Toronto couple claimed their neighbors copied their home design
October 07, 2017 12:18PM

The defendants claim their designed their home off of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, which they saw in the movie “Skyfall.” (Wikimedia Commons/Pixabay)

A Canadian couple sued their former neighbors for almost $2 million claiming they copycatted their house.

Jason and Jodi Chapnik spent seven years renovating their now 8,000-square-foot home in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighborhood, which they bought for about $3 million in 2006. Then, in 2013, a local couple bought the house next door and began to renovate their new house to look identical, in the eye of the Chapniks,’ to their home, from installing the same blue-colored wood-frame windows to similar masonry.

The Chapniks sued claiming the duplicated design violated their copyright of their home’s design and devalued their house.

The alleged copycats, Eric and Barbara Ann Kirshenblatt, who sold the offending house in 2015 for about $2 million more than the purchase price, denied the charge.

The Kirshenblatts said their house design was inspired by the Scottish castle they saw in the James Bond movie “Skyfall” and Tudor cottages featured in a Canadian home magazine dating back to 1940.

The feuding couples settled the case out of court.

[Toronto Star] — E.K. Hudson