Stanley Cup riot prompts insurance corporation to file civil claim against 46 people

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s Crown auto insurer has filed a civil claim against 46 people who have been charged or convicted for taking part in the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver two years ago.

The Insurance Corp. of B.C. is seeking damages, interest and costs that have so far amounted to more than $500,000 involving 77 vehicles that were set on fire or otherwise damaged.

Spokesman Adam Grossman said Friday it’s possible that as cases against suspected rioters proceed through the courts, more people may be added to the civil claim that is aimed at recovering costs for motorists.

“There’s some pretty extreme acts of vandalism and we want to ensure those costs aren’t passed on to the customers,” he said.

Damage to 22 of the vehicles was so extensive that they were written off, Grossman said. Ten of them had been torched.

The riot occurred on June 15, 2011, when thousands of people gathered downtown to watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins.

The civil claim says that shortly before the Canucks lost the game, a vehicle was overturned and set on fire at an area where the City of Vancouver had set up a giant TV screen.

According to the claim, at least 122 vehicles, including 24 emergency vehicles, were damaged or destroyed on the night that store windows were smashed and merchandise was looted, costing businesses millions of dollars.

So far, 149 people have entered guilty pleas for participating in the riot and 102 of them have received sentences ranging from discharges to more than a year in jail.

Only one person, a 26-year-old man, has been convicted after online video footage showed him using a street barricade to smash a storefront window during a rampage.

Trials are currently scheduled for 15 people.