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Island city not on the hook for damages in 2014 hockey puck case

A city spokesperson says the insurance company covering arena operator is handling the claim
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A woman was awarded more than $1 million after being hit with a hockey puck at Langford's Eagle Ridge Hockey Arena. (Pixabay.com)

The City of Langford says it is not on the hook for the over $1 million in damages awarded to a woman hit in the head by a hockey puck in 2014 at the Eagle Ridge Hockey Arena.

A spokesperson for the city told Black Press Media via email the contractor that maintains the arena has an insurer that is handling the legal proceedings and the claim.

"The result of the court action has no financial impact on the Langford taxpayer as it was an insurance matter," the spokesperson wrote.

The case was brought by Sherry Matthews after a hockey puck sailed through a hole in safety netting, hitting the 60-year-old woman just above her right eye. The suit named the city, the contractor operating the arena, the player who hit the puck, and his team.

Matthews claimed a large amount of lost wages, saying recent success she had in credit and debit card processing machine sales was derailed in the years following the incident due to lingering health problems. She was awarded $804,000 for loss of past earnings, $11,000 for loss of future earnings, $60,000 for cost of future care, and $175,000 for damages that cannot be quantified, such as pain and suffering.

The award was appealed, with the defendants arguing Matthews had pre-existing conditions and that eye-witnesses did not observe Matthews to be bleeding or unconscious after being struck by the puck.

But a three-judge panel in the B.C. Court of Appeals sided with Matthews and dismissed the appeal.

According to the city spokesperson, Langford was not involved with the court action. It was all handled by the insurance company covering Performance Plus Hockey, which is also named in the suit.

"The City works to ensure that its contractors maintain City infrastructure and facilities to the highest standard to ensure public safety and enjoyment," the spokesperson's statement reads. "The incident dating back to 2014 was unfortunate."



About the Author: Mark Page

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