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A civil jury awarded $52,000 to Christy Logeman last month after a two-week civil trial.
Madam Justice Janet Sinclair Prowse lowered that amount yesterday to just under $40,000. She ruled partly in favour of TransLink's argument that the damages should be reduced as a result of some of the jury's findings.
The jury concluded that Ms. Logeman was "wrongly assaulted" by transit constable Walter Rossa when he hit her in the eye with his flashlight in November, 2002, outside a downtown SkyTrain station.
But the jury also found Ms. Logeman to be 35-per-cent responsible, when it was asked to determine a percentage of fault between the plaintiff and the defendants.
Mr. Rossa and a colleague were called to the station as a result of a dispute between Ms. Logeman and her ex-boyfriend. Ms. Logeman suffered a broken bone below her left eye as a result of the assault. She was arrested by the transit constables, taken to jail overnight and charged with assaulting a peace officer. Those charges were later dropped, but TransLink barred her from SkyTrain property for several months.
Of the total awarded by the jury, $20,000 was for compensatory damages. Lewis Spencer, co-counsel for Ms. Logeman, agreed with the idea that under the law, this amount should be reduced by 35 per cent.
It was up to Judge Prowse to determine how much of the $30,000 in punitive damages would be reduced. She ruled that it would be cut by 17.5 per cent, rather than the 35 per cent requested by TransLink.
A Provincial Court judge approved private charges of assault filed by Ms. Logeman against the constables in 2003. The Ministry of the Attorney-General, which was also a defendant in the civil suit filed by Ms. Logeman, declined to prosecute these charges.
Mr. Rossa, 55, is now a sergeant with the newly created Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Police Service. The transit officers have been granted increased arrest powers and the right to carry guns while patrolling SkyTrain property. The officers remain TransLink employees, but a company spokesman said yesterday that it is not responsible for disciplinary issues. That would be up to the new police service, or its board, which is headed by the New Westminster police chief.
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