June 18, 2016 - 8:30 AM
VANCOUVER - A judge has ruled that some people who participated in the 2011 Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver are liable for damaging vehicles in the melee.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elliott Myers said in a decision released Friday that nine people who were criminally sentenced for participating in the riots must also pay the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for damaging vehicles insured by the agency.
A report released by the B.C. government in January said 122 vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the five-hour riot that erupted on June 11, 2011, moments before the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.
I.C.B.C. sued 82 people for damages, and 27 settled out of court, while 35 were given default judgements and 10 young men took their cases to trial.
Myers said in his decision that nine of the men who went to trial are liable for damages to at least one vehicle.
But the judge declined to award the punitive damages I.C.B.C. requested, saying the defendants had all been criminally convicted and their sentences were punishment enough.
Myers said in his written decision that he did not "minimize the gravity" of the riot, noting that it threw a major city into complete disarray.
But the men, who were all between the ages of 16 and 38 at the time of their crimes, have already received sentences that took deterrence for others into account, Myers said.
"There comes a point when enough is enough," he said.
The B.C. Criminal Justice Branch laid 912 charges against 300 suspects in the wake of the riot, including 246 adults and 54 youths.
The province said in January that 284 people pleaded guilty, while 10 chose to go to trial. Nine of those people were convicted. The Crown stayed proceedings against six others.
The Criminal Justice Branch had to create a riot-prosecution team for all of the cases, and their total expenditures were $4,976,765.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016