B.C. top court awards $317K to driver tasered by RCMP

by Today's Trucking

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has awarded a truck driver $317,000 in damages after two RCMP officers woke him in his cab and tasered him.

The award stems from an incident in July 2016 outside a lumberyard in Surrey, B.C., where Bradley Degen was parked for the night. He had been scheduled to deliver a load of lumber the next day.

The RCMP officers were responding to a citizen complaint that an idling tractor-trailer was parked on the street outside the lumberyard. Those behind the complaints also reported that the truck’s driver was possibly under the influence of alcohol and unresponsive to efforts to engage him.

(Photo: iStock)

In a civil suit, Degen alleged the officers broke the windows of his truck, struck him twice with conductive energy weapons, and punched him during the arrest. (Charges of obstruction of justice and assaulting a police officer would be stayed several months later.)

He claimed he suffered multiple injuries, including mild traumatic brain injury, and sought damages including punitive damages.

No punitive damages awarded

The judge said the driver remained in his locked vehicle and officers were frustrated in their attempts to engage with him regarding the complaint.

“I am not suggesting that the plaintiff did not suffer injuries following the incident. I find he did suffer consequences,” Justice Crossin said in the ruling.

The court did not award punitive damages, but awarded the driver $317,120 for non-pecuniary damages (losses that cannot be quantified in monetary terms), loss of past and future income, cost of future care and special care.

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