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Woman sues B.C. city and arena operators after being hit by puck

Case tied to 2014 roller hockey incident underway in Victoria court
The incident in question happened at Eagle Ridge Community Centre on May 3, 2014. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

A civil trial has started in the case of a woman suing the City of Langford, the operators of Eagle Ridge Community Centre and others – claiming she was hit in the eye with a puck while watching a roller hockey game in 2014.

Sherry Lynn Matthews claims in court documents that the operators of the rink, Performance Plus Hockey Inc., and the City of Langford were negligent because the roller puck flew through a hole in the safety netting surrounding the dry floor arena.

The case started on April 4 in Victoria Supreme Court and, after three days of hearings last week, resumed on Tuesday (April 11) and is estimated to last 11 days.

The incident happened on May 3, 2014, leaving Matthews with injuries including a nasal fracture, concussion and damage to her eyes and face as well as nausea, headaches, depression and anxiety, according to a submission filed in court by Matthews on March 7, 2016.

Performance Plus and the City of Langford owed her a duty of care under the Occupiers Liability Act to ensure the premises were safe, according to her court filing. The claim argues both failed to meet their duties by not ensuring the netting was safe.

Also named in the filing is Greg Smith, the player who shot the puck, and the Eagle Ridge Team that was playing at the time as part of the Eagle Ridge Roller Hockey League.

The claim said Smith failed to “exercise the standard of care of a reasonable and careful hockey player.”

Matthews is seeking damages that include pain and suffering, loss of income and the cost of care.

In its response filed on Sept. 19, 2016, Performance Plus argued the case should be dismissed, rejecting Matthews’ claims she was injured during the incident and said if she was, it was due to Matthews’ failure to take proper care and watch the game.

The City of Langford did not respond to a request for comment.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

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