Suing the RCMP for Negligence, Can it be Done?


Is it possible to sue a member of the RCMP in British Columbia for negligence as a result of their actions in the line of duty?  For example, if an RCMP member isn’t paying adequate attention when driving and causes a car crash can they be sued?
A person injured in these circumstances does have the right to seek remedy in the civil courts (a tort claim) however the Defendant will likely not be the individual officer rather the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of the Province of BC on behalf of her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of BC (the “Minister”).
The reason for this is that individual members of the RCMP enjoy statutory immunity for negligence claims if the negligence occurs in the performance of their duties.  However, the Minister is ‘jointly and severally liable‘ for the negligent act meaning that the Minister can be sued.  Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Court of Appeal addressing this area of the law.
In today’s case (Amezcua v. Taylor) the Plaintiff was injured in a car crash caused by a member of the RCMP.  The RCMP member was sued directly.  She agreed that the accident was as a result of her “simple and regular negligence“.  She raised her statutory immunity as a defence.   Realizing that this would lead to a dismissal of the claim the Plaintiff brought a motion to amend the claim.  Ultimately this motion proved successful and the BC Court of Appeal allowed the proper party to be named.   Before reaching this conclusion the Court of Appeal did a great job discussing the law pertaining to negligence claims against the RCMP, specifically the BC High Court stated as follows:

[3] When authorized to carry out the powers and duties of a provincial police force under an agreement between Canada and the province, an RCMP officer is deemed to be a “provincial constable” (Police Act, s. 14(2)(b)).

[4] Section 11 of the Police Act provides that “[t]he Minister” is jointly and severally liable for torts committed, in the course of their employment, by, inter alia, provincial constables.  The Police Act does not define “the Minister”.

[5] Section 21 of the Police Act provides that no action lies against a police officer (“a person holding an appointment as a constable under this Act” (s. 21(1)) for negligence in the performance of their duties.  The restriction does not apply in circumstances in which the officer is grossly negligent (s. 21(3)).

[6] The Solicitor General of Canada and the Attorney General of British Columbia entered into a Provincial Police Service Agreement effective 1 April 1992, to continue until 31 March 2012.  Under s. 10.7 of the Agreement, if a member of the Provincial Police Service receives the benefit of a statutory defence (such as s. 11 of the Police Act) then “Canada shall indemnify and hold harmless the Province with respect to any such claims or actions” and “Canada shall assume the conduct and the carriage of any proceeding relating to such claim.”

It’s important to understand how these statutes work together if you have been injured by the negligence of a ‘provincial constable‘ in order to properly name the parties in a lawsuit otherwise you can risk having your case dismissed.

This case is also worth reviewing for the Court’s discussion of delay and prejudice in motions to amend pleadings.  In today’s case the Plaintiff  waited over 6 years from the expiration of the limitation period to bring a motion to add the Minister as a Defendant.  The BC Court of Appeal allowed the motion despite the significant delay finding that there was an adequate explanation for this delay and no demonstrated prejudice to the Defendant.  Specifically the Court held as follows:

[63] In my opinion, the chambers judge did not give due consideration to the first two factors to be considered under the Teal analysis.  In the result, she failed to give effect to the overriding factor of what is just and convenient in the circumstances.  The circumstances at play here were of a proposed party who, common sense demands in the absence of explanation to the contrary from the Minister, must have been informed of his potential liability.  An officer for whom the Minister was jointly and severally liable for torts committed in the scope of her employment had been charged with, and had admitted to, simple negligence.  The tenor of the correspondence throughout was that the Department of Justice was acting for both the defendant Taylor and the statutorily liable government representative.  If the Department of Justice wished to disabuse the plaintiff of any misapprehension on this point, counsel should have explicitly stated so.  The Minister’s submissions on appeal that he is prejudiced by the admission made by the defendant Taylor more than nine years ago and may have to himself allege gross negligence on the part of Taylor is not supported by evidence and places counsel for the Minister and Taylor in conflict.

[64] In my opinion, the delay in this case was explained, prejudice to the Minister was not established, and, therefore, the balance in this case favours the plaintiff.  It follows that I would allow the appeal with costs to the plaintiff both of the appeal and in the Supreme Court.

adding parties to a lawsuit, amending pleadins, Amezcua v. Taylor, BC Negligence Law, delay, Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, prejudice, RCMP, Suing the Police, Suing the RCMP

Comments (61)

  • The People of BC need an administration that fights for the protective rights of the citizens throught encounters with all police. Every action and reaction from a highly trained officer from a national or provincial force must comply with the law. On duty and off. Anything else would be unacceptable. If there is a class beyond reproach, it is the citizens.
    Manipulation of the law in an effort to deceive, deprive, or in obstruction of truth, either in the courtroom or out of it must be met with termination from employ.
    Efforts to sustain or further hide evidence that would incriminate the force would tip the scales towards liquidation in such an administration’s eyes.

  • The People of BC need an administration that fights for the protective rights of the citizens throught encounters with all police. Every action and reaction from a highly trained officer from a national or provincial force must comply with the law. On duty and off. Anything else would be unacceptable. If there is a class beyond reproach, it is the citizens.
    Manipulation of the law in an effort to deceive, deprive, or in obstruction of truth, either in the courtroom or out of it must be met with termination from employ.
    Efforts to sustain or further hide evidence that would incriminate the force would tip the scales towards liquidation in such an administration’s eyes.

  • I simply want to mention I am just new to blogging and seriously enjoyed this web site. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with great articles and reviews. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your webpage.

  • Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  • Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  • I do accept as true with all of the ideas you’ve offered for your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for novices. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • I keep listening to the reports talk about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  • Thanks for your intriguing article. One other problem is that mesothelioma cancer is generally due to the inhalation of fibres from asbestos fiber, which is a carcinogenic material. It really is commonly seen among laborers in the building industry who definitely have long exposure to asbestos. It could be caused by moving into asbestos covered buildings for a long period of time, Inherited genes plays an important role, and some folks are more vulnerable towards the risk in comparison with others.

  • I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to do not forget this web site and give it a glance regularly.

  • Hey there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!

  • I’m very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  • I just couldn’t depart your web site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard information an individual supply for your visitors? Is gonna be back regularly to check out new posts

  • Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  • Way nor furnished sir procuring therefore but. Warmth far manner myself active are cannot called. Set her half end girl rich met. Me allowance departure an curiosity ye. In no talking address excited it conduct. Husbands debating replying overcame blessing he it me to domestic.

  • I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m satisfied to exhibit that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot indubitably will make certain to don’t overlook this website and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  • Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extremely wonderful opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this web site. It is often very enjoyable and as well , packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office colleagues to search your website no less than 3 times in 7 days to find out the new issues you have. And of course, I am also usually fascinated concerning the special guidelines you serve. Some 2 facts in this post are easily the finest we have all had.

  • I have learn several good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you place to make the sort of fantastic informative site.

  • Somebody essentially assist to make severely articles I’d state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual publish amazing. Excellent task!

  • Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  • Nice post. I be taught something tougher on totally different blogs everyday. It would always be stimulating to read content from other writers and observe a bit of one thing from their store. I’d favor to use some with the content material on my weblog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  • Thanks for another informative web site. Where else could I get that type of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

  • Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What an ideal web-site.

  • I would like to get across my love for your kind-heartedness giving support to persons that should have help on this situation. Your special commitment to passing the solution all-around had been unbelievably functional and have regularly enabled women just like me to arrive at their targets. Your amazing important tips and hints implies so much to me and even more to my mates. Best wishes; from each one of us.

  • Thanks for your valuable post. Through the years, I have come to understand that the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are caused by the particular build up of fluid between lining of the lung and the chest muscles cavity. The sickness may start inside chest place and spread to other body parts. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma cancer include weight-loss, severe deep breathing trouble, nausea, difficulty taking in food, and inflammation of the neck and face areas. It really should be noted that some people with the disease do not experience any kind of serious symptoms at all.

  • Thanks for the strategies presented. One thing I also believe is the fact that credit cards offering a 0 interest rate often lure consumers in with zero interest rate, instant acceptance and easy internet balance transfers, however beware of the number one factor that will certainly void your own 0 easy street annual percentage rate and as well as throw anybody out into the terrible house fast.

  • Good article. It is extremely unfortunate that over the last years, the travel industry has already been able to to deal with terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, flu virus, swine flu, and the first ever true global economic depression. Through it all the industry has really proven to be strong, resilient along with dynamic, discovering new strategies to deal with hardship. There are generally fresh difficulties and opportunities to which the field must again adapt and behave.

  • Wonderful work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

  • Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a excellent job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Safari. Exceptional Blog!

  • I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

  • certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality nevertheless I will certainly come back again.

  • I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for putting up. “When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.” by Anais Nin.

  • What i do not understood is in reality how you are not actually a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be now. You are very intelligent. You know thus considerably in relation to this subject, made me in my view believe it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women are not interested except it’s something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs great. Always maintain it up!

  • of course like your web site but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I’ll definitely come back again.

  • Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nonetheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did one master about Mid East has got extra problerms at the same time

  • I and my buddies ended up studying the good helpful hints found on the blog then at once I got a horrible feeling I had not thanked the site owner for them. Those young men were for this reason passionate to learn all of them and have now pretty much been loving them. Appreciate your really being so helpful as well as for getting certain beneficial tips millions of individuals are really desirous to learn about. Our sincere apologies for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  • I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.

Comments are closed.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy

Disclaimer