Tag: Battery

Kamloops Catholic Church and Priest Ordered to Pay Over $800,000 After “Playboy Priest” Slept With Parishioner

Reasons for judgment were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, ordering a “playboy priest” along with the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops to pay over $800,000 in damages as a result of a sexual relationship between the priest and the Plaintiff parishioner dating back to the 1970’s.

In this week’s case (Anderson v. Molon) the Plaintiff was employed as an elementary school teacher at a Catholic school in Kamloops, BC.   The Defendant at that time an assistant pastor living in the rectory at the same parish.

After the Plaintiff’s father died she sought “comfort and solace” from the Defendant.  Instead a sexual relationship formed which the court summarized as follows:

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Adult Who Directed Assault of 14 Year Old High School Student Ordered to Pay over $479,000 in Damages

Reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages just over $479,000 following an assault by the then 45 year old Defendannt against a 14 year old Plaintiff.

In today’s case (Siegerist v. Tilton) the Plaintiff suffered serous injuries after an assault orchestrated by the Defendant.  The circumstances of the beating were summarized as follows:

[1]            On April 15, 2009, the plaintiff, Riley Siegerist, was assaulted moments after he left the grounds of his high school in Delta, B.C. to walk home. Mr. Siegerist was 14 years old and a grade 9 student at that time. Acting on the instruction of the defendant, Michael Tilton, two adult males, one or both wielding telescopic metal batons, jumped out of a vehicle driven by Mr. Tilton, ran after Mr. Siegerist, and physically assaulted him. When they paused at Mr. Tilton’s instruction, Mr. Siegerist was physically assaulted by Mr. Tilton’s eldest son, M.T. Mr. Tilton was approximately 45 years old at that time.

[2]            When A.S., a student standing nearby, tried to prevent Mr. Tilton from joining in the assault, Mr. Tilton head-butted him. Indeed, according to Mr. Tilton, after his son assaulted Mr. Siegerist, Mr. Tilton walked over to Mr. Siegerist and said words to the effect, “Are we even now?”

The Defendant was criminally convicted of two counts of assault causing bodily harm.  In the civil trial he unsuccessfully attempted to deny liability.

The assault caused serious physical and psychological injuries.  In assessing global damages at just over $479,000 including non-pecuniary damages of $125,000 Mr. Justice Walker provided the following summary of the injuries:

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Soccer Player Sentenced Following On-Field “Sucker Punch” Leading to Assault Conviction

Both civil and even criminal repercussions occasionally arise following recreational and even professional sporting assaults in Canada.  Reasons for sentencing were published this week by the BC Provincial Court highlighting a case of the latter.

In this week’s case (R v. Miletic) the Defendant sucker punched a fellow competitor during an adult league recreational soccer game in New Westminster, BC.  The punch “broke the victim’s orbital bone and caused him negative longer-term effects“.  At trial the Defendant was convicted of assault causing bodily harm.

The Court summarized the circumstances of the offence as follows:

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RCMP Constable Ordered to Pay $55,000 Following Wrongful Detention

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Smithers Registry, ordering an RCMP constable and the crown to pay $55,000 in damages to a Plaintiff who was injured during a wrongful detention.

In today’s case (Joseph v Meier) the Plaintiff was shopping at a retail store when another woman shopping in the same area of the store put a scarf into her bag and then, when confronted, threw the scarf to the floor and fled.  The plaintiff, who was elderly with limited mobility, continued shopping.  The store manager mistakenly believed the two women were together and had the police called.

When the Defendant RCMP constable confronted the plaintiff she “refused to stop or provide information to him. She repeatedly told him that she had done nothing wrong and did not need to talk to him” .  He took her to the ground and attempted to handcuff her while she resisted.  The Plaintiff was injured in the altercation.  In finding the Constable liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery Madam Justice Brown provided the following reasons:

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Motorist Ordered To Pay $34,980 in Damages Following “Road Rage Incident”

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, ordering a motorist to pay almost $35,000 in damages after striking another motorist in the face.

In today’s case (Henderson v. McGregor) the parties were both operating motor vehicle moving in the same direction of travel.   The Plaintiff was concerned that the Defendant was not paying adequate attention.  The vehicles stopped close to each other and the Plaintiff exited his vehicle and approached the Defendant.  The Defendant “struck him without warning, grabbing and scratching his face causing lacerations and bruising and drew blood.”.

The Court found the Defendant liable for the torts of assault and battery and ordered damages just shy of $35,ooo to be paid including $2,000 in aggravated damages.  Mr. Justice Walker provided the following findings regarding liability:

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Occupier Not Liable for “Sudden, Random, and Apparently Unprecedented Act of Violence” By Customer

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dismissing a lawsuit following a customer on customer assault at a commercial establishment.

In today’s case (Tanaka v. London Drugs Limited) the Plaintiff was shopping at London Drugs when another customer suddenly and unexpectedly punched the Plaintiff in the face knocking him unconscious.  The assailant remained unidentified.  The Plaintiff argued London Drugs should be vicariously liable for the assault either based on the principles of Negligence of Occupier’s Liability legislation.  In dismissing the claim and finding there should be no vicarious liability in the face of a “sudden, random, and apparently unprecedented act of violence” Madam Justice Horsman provided the following reasons:

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Defendant Not Justified in Punching Mouthy and "Belligerent" Plaintiff in the Face

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Smithers Registry, demonstrating that punching someone in the face is rarely the legally acceptable solution to a problem.
In the recent case (Azak v. Chisholm) the Defendant was a contractor building a retaining wall on property neighbouring the Plaintiff’s.  A verbal confrontation between the Plaintiff and Defendant occurred with the court finding “the plaintiff confronted Chisholm about the Project in a belligerent manner that Chisholm did not like” and specifically with the Plaintiff calling the Defendant “a ‘f-ing asshole” and a “white piece of shit”.
The Defendant gave evidence as follows surrounding the altercation:
Chisholm told the plaintiff that “we are going to go to work and what are you going to do about it?”  The plaintiff responded by saying: “you’re going to find out right now” and that Chisholm was a “white piece of shit”.  Chisholm testified that he perceived this as a threat and he did not want to find out what the plaintiff had in mind.  Chisholm said “I’ve had enough”, jumped down from the retaining wall and hit the plaintiff in the face.
The punch resulted in a fractured cheek and nose that requires surgical correction.
The Plaintiff successfully sued for damages. In rejecting the Defendant’s claim of self defense and noting the burden on a defendant to successfully raise the defense Mr. Justice Weatherill provided the following reasons:

[70]         I find that, regardless of the harassment and insults the plaintiff had levied at Chisholm and regardless of how long the plaintiff’s difficult behaviour had been ongoing, Chisholm had no right or justification to do what he did.  I find that, whatever threat Chisholm perceived when he was first confronted by the plaintiff on the morning of July 2, 2013 had eased well before the Assault took place.  I do not accept that Chisholm was either afraid for his own safety or that of his co-workers.  Chisholm could easily have either removed himself from the property or had Nyce mediate the situation, as he had done many times previously.  Instead, I find that Chisholm simply and regrettably let his anger and frustration get the better of him.  

[71]         I find that Chisholm’s reaction was unreasonable and totally disproportionate to the circumstance he was in and I reject his claim that he acted in self-defence.  No reasonable person in Chisholm’s shoes would have felt physically threatened by what the plaintiff had said.

[72]         I find that the plaintiff has demonstrated, on the balance of probabilities, that Chisholm committed the tort of battery upon him, that Chisholm failed to demonstrate he was acting in self-defence and, therefore, Chisholm is liable to the plaintiff in damages.

$217,500 in Damages Ordered Following Suckerpunch Assault

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, ordering the payment of $217,500 in total damages after the Plaintiff was injured in an assault/battery.
In today’s case (Rycroft v. Rego) the Plaintiff alleged he was injured in an altercation with the Defendant.  Although the Court heard differing versions of events the Court concluded the Defendant through an “unexpected” punch to the Plaintiff which began a brief physical scuffle.
In finding the Defendant culpable for the assault and the injuries that arose Mr. Justice Williams made the following findings of fact:

[30]         Based on my examination of all of the evidence, my conclusions with respect to what occurred are as follows.

[31]         In order to investigate the reported damage caused to the bike park, shortly after returning home, the plaintiff entered the yard behind his residence. Immediately before the altercation, while Mr. Rycroft was walking at a moderate pace in the general direction of his own home, Mr. Rego, walking quite briskly, approached him.

[32]         I accept that the plaintiff said words to the effect of “you must be the dad; I do not want kids playing there anymore.”

[33]         I find that, at that point, the defendant struck the side of the plaintiff’s head. The version of events which most sensibly and logically explains the resulting bruise is that, when he was struck, Mr. Rycroft had his head turned to the right. The punch was of significant force and unexpected.

[34]         As a consequence of the blow, the plaintiff went down in a forward direction, ending up on his knees. He had his hands on the ground. The defendant immediately applied some type of headlock to Mr. Rycroft from behind.

[35]         The two men struggled, with Mr. Rego behind and above Mr. Rycroft. No significant blows were landed.

[36]         The physical engagement ended fairly quickly. The defendant let go of the plaintiff and moved away, and the plaintiff got to his feet.

[37]         The defendant said something to the effect of “do you want round two?” or “do you want some more?” The plaintiff responded in the affirmative, I expect probably more reflexively than seriously, but did nothing physically to further engage with the defendant. Instead, the plaintiff reached into his pocket, took out his phone, and called 911.

[38]         At that point, the defendant and his wife left and went home.

[39]         In the course of the altercation, the plaintiff sustained an injury to his left temple area, an injury which is depicted in the photo marked Exhibit 6. I find that bruise was caused by a blow from the defendant.

[40]         It is also reasonable to conclude that Mr. Rycroft sustained minor injuries to his arm, his elbow area, and his hand, likely from going to the ground.

[41]         Finally, I accept that the plaintiff incurred some injury to his knees, also resulting from going to the ground.

Defendant Ordered to Pay $7,500 After "Body-Checking" Plaintiff During Debt Collection

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, ordering a Defendant to pay a Plaintiff $5,000 in non-pecuniary damages and a further $2,500 in punitive damages following an assault during a debt collection.
In today’s case (Ross v. Dhillon) the Plaintiff attended the Defendant’s business to collect an outstanding business account with respect to some industrial equipment purchased by the Defendant.  The Defendant made partial payment and the Plaintiff,  unsatisfied with this, removed a part from the equipment.  As he attempted to leave the Defendant “body‑checked him into the door frame and held him against it for several seconds.”.
The Court found this incident caused a minor aggravation of pre-existing injuries the Plaintiff suffered in a collision.  In assessing damages at $7,500 Mr. Justice Smith provided the following reasons:
[20]         I therefore find that the plaintiff experienced a minor and short‑lived aggravation of his neck and back symptoms, accompanied by an equally minor and short‑lived condition that produced some numbness in his hand…

[23]         Considering the minor nature of the plaintiff’s injuries, including the brief aggravation of his previous symptoms and including a component for aggravated damages, I award the plaintiff non‑pecuniary damages of $5,000.

[24]         I also find this to be an appropriate case for punitive damages. The defendant’s conduct was willful, reckless and dangerous. While his conduct was at the low end of any scale that would measure violent conduct, no amount of violence was an acceptable response to this dispute about a relatively small debt.

[25]         In Van Hartevelt v. Grewal, 2012 BCSC 658, the court awarded $10,000 in punitive damages to a plaintiff who was beaten about the head and kicked in the ribs. The violence in this case was much less severe, and I award punitive damages of $2,500.

Nightclub and Bouncers Ordered To Pay $3,084,200 Following Assault on Patron

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, highlighting a $3 million jury verdict following a nightclub assault.
In today’s case (Maras v. Seemore Entertainment Ltd.) the Plaintiff was assaulted outside of a nightclub in Vancouver, BC and sustained a traumatic brain injury.  Both the owner of the club and 3 bouncers were found liable and ordered to pay the damages.  Prior to trial the Plaintiff offered to settle for $1.425 million an offer which was countered with $20,000 by the Defendants.   The Court ordered that the Defendant pay increased costs for failing to accept the Plaintiff’s reasonable pre-trial offer.  In highlighting the jury’s decision the Court provided the following reasons:
[1]             This action arose from an assault upon the plaintiff that occurred on April 4, 2009 outside the Au Bar nightclub, located on Seymour Street in Vancouver.
[2]             The plaintiff sustained serious injuries including a complicated mild traumatic brain injury combined with orthopedic and psychiatric injuries.
[3]             The plaintiff was 20 years old at the time of the assault and 25 years old when the action proceeded to trial before a jury for nine weeks commencing April 7, 2014.
[4]             Both liability and the quantum of damages were in issue at trial and vigorously contested by the parties.
[5]             On June 9, 2014, the jury delivered its verdict. Liability was found against the corporate defendant owner of the nightclub and three of the security personnel or “bouncers”. The action against one of the security staff defendants, Mr. Yip, and the nightclub’s manager, Mr. Childs, was dismissed. The plaintiff was found not to be contributorily negligent.
[6]             The jury assessed damages as follows:

General damages $   250,000
Loss of income and loss of earning capacity to trial $   175,000
Future loss of earning capacity $1,832,000
Cost of future care $   800,000
Special damages $     27,200
Total $3,084,200

 

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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.

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