Civil suit alleging Kelowna Mountie's wrongdoing filed too late, defendants say | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Civil suit alleging Kelowna Mountie's wrongdoing filed too late, defendants say

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September 20, 2020 - 8:29 AM

A lawsuit filed against a Kelowna Mountie is too little too late, according to an application filed by the Attorney General of Canada, The Provincial Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Fiona Read, a Westbank woman, alleged in court documents filed in July, she was walking home from a New Year's Eve party, Jan. 1, 2016 when she met Const. Lacey Browning. After a brief interaction, Read alleged Browning “grabbed her by her hair and pounded her head into the ground multiple times.” 

Read also alleges that she made a complaint to Browning’s supervisor which went unheeded and that she only became aware of the right to complain because of another lawsuit involving Browning and for all of that she's seeking damages.

READ MORE: Second woman files lawsuit claiming she was assaulted by Kelowna RCMP constable

A notice of application filed Sept. 17 doesn't address the incident but states that Read filed the lawsuit outside of the two-year limitation period set out for submitting a civil suit and that Read has failed to provide any evidence to escape the limitation period.

"Under the Limitation Act, the plaintiff had two years from the time her claim crystallized to commence a lawsuit. That claim crystallized no later than Jan. 1, 2016, when the plaintiff alleges to have been assaulted and detained by Const. Browning. Therefore, by Jan. 2, 2018, the plaintiff was out of time to file a notice of civil claim," the application states.

"Although the Limitation Act allows for the extension, postponement, or suspension of limitation periods in certain limited circumstances, the burden of proving the existence of these circumstances lies on the plaintiff. The plaintiff has failed to plead that her limitation period should be extended, postponed, or extended pursuant to any applicable provision in the Limitation Act."

Not only do the defendants want to strike the lawsuit down, but they also seek costs of this application from Read.

"There is no reason, in this case, to depart from the usual rule that costs should follow the event," the application states.

The application will be made to a judge Nov. 16.

Another suit was also filed against Browning in September, bringing the total number of lawsuits against the RCMP officer up to three.

Kelowna resident Cole Vasko filed a civil suit against Browning Sept. 10, alleging that Browning assaulted him and broke his nose while in the presence of his son in March, 2019.

READ MORE: 'Those directly involved are being held accountable,' Kelowna's top cop says of recent videos involving police force

He alleges he was later charged with assault as a cover-up for her own actions, according to court documents.

In an emailed response to the lawsuit, Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli said the Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a very intoxicated man carrying a small child along a local road where one officer attended and arrested the man for causing a disturbance.

The man was arrested and later charged, but the charges were stayed in December 2019, Haugli said. Vasko also wrote a letter to Cst. Browning, Haugli said in his statement.

UBCO student Mona Wang is also suing Browning, alleging she used excessive force when responding to a wellness check.


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