Bid for damages against RCMP in Lisa Dudley death dismissed by B.C. judge

A B.C. judge has dismissed a claim for damages from Lisa Dudley's mother, saying she was out of time under the statute of limitations.

Ruling suggests B.C. also legally responsibility for the federal force, not just Ottawa

A B.C. judge has dismissed Rosemarie Surakka's claim for damages from the RCMP in the death of her daughter, Lisa Dudley. (CBC)

A B.C. judge has dismissed a claim for damages from Lisa Dudley's mother, saying she was out of time under the statute of limitations. 

Rosemarie Surakka alleges her daughter died because of negligence by an RCMP officer who went to check up on a report of shots fired in Mission, B.C,. on Sept.18, 2008, but didn't get out of his car or interview neighbours. 

Four days later, Dudley was found alive but later died. Her partner, Guthrie McKay, was already dead at the scene. 

Lisa Dudley was shot in Mission in September 2008 and died four days later. (Courtesy of family)

Surakka launched her court action in October 2011, three years and one month after Dudley died. But the legal time limit is two years.

Surakka sought damages and "declaratory relief" under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms against the province and the attorney general of Canada  who is responsible for the RCMP. 

The province argued it shouldn't be named, because it isn't responsible for the RCMP.

However, Justice Nathan Smith ruled Monday that though time had run out to sue for damages, the RCMP could be seen to be acting as a provincial police force in B.C. under provincial legislation, and the province's argument that it is not responsible and should be released was dismissed. 

In addition to damages, Surakka wanted a declaration that Dudley was deprived of her right to life and security of person, contrary to the Charter, arguing it was "due to the failures of the RCMP and its officers, employees or agents ."

That argument can still proceed to court. The civil case will go to trial in January and February of 2019. 

Lawyers for the federal government say the family of a B.C. woman who died after RCMP failed to investigate the gunshots that killed her can't sue the government because the victim lost her rights when she died. 2:46