BRITISH COLUMBIA

Vancouver Canucks Sued After Teen Claims Hit By Air Cannon At 2011 Game

02/13/2015 04:32 EST | Updated 04/15/2015 05:59 EDT
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VANCOUVER, CANADA, OCTOBER 6: The Vancouver Canucks line up against the PIttsburgh Penguins during the opening ceremonies of the Canucks regular season home opener on October 6, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Penguins won 4-3. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER - The family of a teenager allegedly struck on the head by a falling part from an air cannon firing confetti during an NHL playoff game is suing the Vancouver Canucks.

Davis Baynton's family claims he has a permanent physical disability after a barrel from the cannon fell from the roof and struck him on the head.

Baynton was 15 years old when he attended the hockey match between the Canucks and the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena on May 24, 2011.

The boy's family is seeking costs and damages in a lawsuit, claiming the teen suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as numerous other injuries including to his jaw, mouth and neck.

"The plaintiff's injuries have and will continue to cause him suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent physical disability, loss of earning capacity, past and future, and loss of housekeeping capacity, past and future," reads the notice of civil claim, filed July 30, 2014.

It named eight organizations including the Vancouver Canucks, the arena, the team's owner, and the company that supplied the cannon, Hollynorth Production Supplies.

None the allegations have been proven in court.

Hollynorth denied the allegations in a response filed Aug. 21, 2014, stating that it puts the onus of "strict proof" on the plaintiff. The company specifically denied that it caused the plaintiff's injuries and claims if there were indeed injuries, they were caused by negligence of the teen's caregivers, the arena or other parties.

"Hollynorth denies that the air cannon had any defects and/or deficiencies and/or was dangerous and/or hazardous as alleged or at all," states the response, adding the cannon was designed and installed to a "reasonable standard" and was "reasonably safe" to be used.

It alleges, for example, that the caregiver who accompanied the teen to the game failed to provide adequate supervision and that the teen failed to keep a "proper look out."

A separate response was filed Oct. 23, 2014 by seven groups, excluding the cannon supplier, also denying the allegations.

Those defendants say the arena was "reasonably safe for use" by the teen at all times and also alleges the injury was contributed to by the negligence of the teen's caregivers.

The response further states Hollynorth Production supplied and installed the air cannons according to an agreement reached prior to the alleged incident.

"These defendants say that the said incident and any injury ... were caused solely, or were contributed to, by the negligence of the defendant Hollynorth Production."

Mike Kaerne, with Hollynorth Production Supplies, said he was required by the company's insurer not to comment.

Vancouver Canucks' chief operating officer called the incident serious and unfortunate.

"Our immediate concern was for (Baynton's) health and well-being," Victor de Bonis said in an emailed statement. "The safety and security of our guests is always the highest priority for our organization."

De Bonis said the air cannons were removed immediately after Baynton was hurt.

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