VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A coffeehouse chain has filed the first lawsuit for damages from the riot that consumed Vancouver after the Boston Bruins took Game 7 of the Stanley Cup from the hometown Canucks.
Blenz Coffee sued 150 unidentified rioters who trashed three of its outlets.
In its complaint in British Supreme Court, Blenz claims its shops were looted and suffered damage “to windows, signage, finishings, furnishings, inventory, display cases, point of sale equipment, coffee and beverage preparation equipment, refrigeration equipment and other related items.”
Blenz says the rioters also stole cash and other items from the cafes.
“The actions of the defendants have been callous, high-handed, wanton or malicious, such as to entitle the plaintiffs to punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages,” the complaint states.
The defendants are John Does 1-75 and Jane Does 1-75.
Vancouver’s mayor and police chief have been in damage control since the riot, for failing to prevent a repeat of the 1994 Stanley Cup riots, which came after the Canucks lost Game 7 to the New York Rangers.
Although the Vancouver Police Department has enjoyed an outpouring of community support since the night chaos, criticism has been mounting over the number of officers on the ground that night, and of the city’s decision to invite tens of thousands of people downtown to watch the game on giant TV screens.
The rioters, immortalized by hundreds of onlookers, and perhaps participants, who captured the mayhem on camera phones, have been vilified on Facebook, with several groups and pages dedicated to naming and shaming alleged participants.
The plaintiffs are represented by John Douglas Shields with Shields Harney.