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Semi-streaker hit during BC Lions game hires law firm

Last Updated Jun 21, 2018 at 1:35 pm PDT

An unidentified man is escorted off the field at BC Place after running our wearing only a jersey and underwear on June 16, 2018. (John Ackermann, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Man, hit by BC Lion player after semi-streaking during game, hires lawyers

Semi-streaker hit by BC Lions player during team home-opener hires lawyers

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The pantless man who was taken down by a BC Lions player after running out onto the field during Saturday’s football game at BC Place has hired a law firm.

A short statement from the Preszler Law Firm confirms it’s been hired to represent the man who was seen, in only a jersey and blue underwear, running onto the field during the first quarter. He was hit by defensive back Marcell Young and the law firm claims he has suffered a head injury.

“Our client suffered serious injuries, including a mild traumatic brain injury, as a result of being violently struck by BC Lions player Marcell Young. Our client has been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home. His future prognosis remains unclear,” reads part of the statement.

After being taken down, the man, who is in his 20s and from Surrey, was eventually escorted off the field by security and removed from the stadium. Vancouver Police issued him a $115 ticket for trespassing. Charges have not been recommended.

Personal injury lawyer Josh Woods of Clark Woods LLP says if a civil suit is launched, it may come down to figuring out who is to blame and by how much.

“It’s not an all or nothing proposition. There’s a very good chance that the plaintiff will be held partially liable, noncontributory negligent in putting themselves in that situation in the first place,” he said, adding the team, BC Place and Young may also share some of the blame. “When you start looking at whether or not the player was also negligent, one of the things that’s going to factor into that are the policies in place — in particular, what are you supposed to do when someone runs on the field. And I suspect the answer to that is you should probably let security handle it.”

He says a player taking down a trespasser may be considered different than if it’s done by a security guard, whose sole job may be to stop people from getting on the field.

“When you’re leveling a hit, you have to be very careful, especially when you’re in full protective gear. You’re a professional athlete and you’re hitting somebody whose probably not expecting to be hit. There’s a question of not only whether or not that constitutes an assault but also a question of whether there’s negligence on the part of the player,” he said. “A mild traumatic brain injury is just the proper name for a concussion (and it) can range from dissipating within a few weeks or they can be much more serious and leave lasting cognitive effects.”

BC Place has banned the man from the venue for a year and Laura Ballance, who speaks for the stadium, says his behaviour wasn’t funny, but rather disruptive.

“There was in the area of 20,000 people there that came for an evening of great Canadian football and to disrupt the field of play in any way is an unfortunate thing. It does not the family friendly atmosphere that we try to uphold at the venue.”

She stresses that even if it doesn’t seem like it to fans, any venue where a sporting event is being played is a professional workplace for the athletes.

“I personally don’t think it’s a respectful thing to do for them and I know it’s not a respectful thing to do for all the families and people who came to enjoy a great football game and had that disruption. I don’t think it’s acceptable behaviour in this day and age and I personally don’t think it’s funny and I think a lot of people would agree with me on that.”

The Lions had previously said Young would not be disciplined for the hit and the team is not commenting further.