Abbotsford hockey players caused more than $200,000 in damage to the Mountain Retreat Hotel & Suites in Squamish when they kicked or pushed an ice machine and ruptured a water line, according to a lawsuit from the hotel’s owner.
Coastal Hospitality is suing the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), coach James Young and 60 unidentified players and parents for the alleged Feb. 6, 2016 incident. The company filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme court on Jan. 9, nearly two years after the hockey team stayed at its hotel during a local tournament.
The court documents don’t specify the ages of the players but there was an Atom (ages 10 and younger) A3 Family Day tournament scheduled in Squamish at the same time of the Abbotsford team’s visit.
Coastal says the players were unsupervised when one or more of them damaged the ice machine and, in turn, ruptured the water line, which leaked water into the hallway and down elevator shafts. The water damaged the structure and contents of the hotel, its elevators and cost the hotel lost business, Coastal claims.
All told, the hospitality company says the rupture cost it more than $200,000.
Coastal says the players, coach and parents all failed in the “duty of care” they owed the hotel. It says the parents and coach should have been supervising the players or had supervision arranged and they failed to report the ruptured line “promptly.”
Coastal is seeking general damages, special damages, costs and “such other relief this honourable court deems appropriate.”
Coastal has had ongoing discussions with AMHA’s liability insurers over the last two years, according to Greg Tucker, one of the company’s lawyers. He said the matter was not going to be solved within the two-year limit for litigation and the lawsuit was therefore necessary.
“No one wants to sue unless they have to. Resolution is always preferable,” Tucker wrote in an email.
He said that whether the hotel’s insurance covered the damages, and to what extent, is irrelevant to the claim.
“There is a legal principle known as subrogation under which, where a claim is covered by property insurance, the insurer, subject to certain exceptions, steps into the shoes of the insured with respect to any rights of recovery that the insured has,” Tucker wrote.
The claims have not been proven in court. Representatives from AMHA have not responded to phone calls and emails.