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FOR TORTS - Affecting the person - Assault - Invasion of privacy

Tuesday, July 09, 2019 @ 8:30 AM  

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Appeal by the plaintiff from an award of $3,000 for damages for unlawful entry into the appellant’s home, breach of privacy, false imprisonment and battery. The trial judge found police unlawfully entered the appellant’s residence in response to her 911 call and falsely imprisoned and battered her. The officers took her to the ground and handcuffed her. The trial judge found, however, that the police officers acted proportionally and in good faith, and that their entry into the home was minimally intrusive in that they did not force entry, did not cause any damage, and were in the residence for only as long as it took to sort the situation out. The appellant sought damages of $25,000 at trial. She argued the trial judge erred in reducing general damages based on the conduct of the appellant herself and in not awarding her punitive or public law damages.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The trial judge did not err when he declined to award punitive damages or public law damages as the actions of the police officers, although found to be unlawful, were not of such a nature as to attract such damages. The appellant also did not seek specific awards for those heads of damages. Even if the trial judge erred by considering the appellant’s conduct forced the police officers to act as they did, the facts of this case and the injuries suffered by the appellant did not merit an award different than that made by the trial judge. While at the very low end of the range for battery and wrongful imprisonment, the total damage award was reasonable.

Ironstand v. Winnipeg (City), [2019] M.J. No. 163, Manitoba Court of Appeal, M.A. Monnin, D.M. Cameron and K.I. Simonsen JJ.A., June 11, 2019. Digest No. TLD-July82019005