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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Judge denies attempt to dismiss taser lawsuit

December 20, 2006
PETTI FONG, Globe & Mail

Vancouver -- A B.C. Supreme Court ruling has struck down an attempt by the Vancouver Police Board to dismiss a lawsuit against police by the family of a man who died in custody after being shot with a taser gun.

The family of Robert Bagnell, who died on June 23, 2004, are suing the board claiming the force was negligent in purchasing and supplying officers with tasers.

The police board argued that its functions are purely legislative and there is insufficient proximity between the board and members of the public whose family members are harmed by individual police officers using tasers.

Justice Catherine Wedge said she does not accept the board's argument that its role is similar to a municipality and dismissed the police board, which is chaired by Mayor Sam Sullivan, to extricate itself from the lawsuit.