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Father and son file $4M lawsuit against TTC over Union Station brawl

CityNews | posted Friday, Jan 20th, 2017

A Toronto father and son have filed a $4-million lawsuit against the TTC and two of its security officers after a violent brawl following a Maple Leafs game two years ago.

The fight took place on a packed subway platform at Union Station.

Cellphone video of the January 2015 incident shows two TTC officers punching the two men.

The video surfaced on social media two months after it happened.

WARNING: The video may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.

A lawyer for the two men claims the incident began when the father accidentally brushed one of the transit officers after paying his fare, causing the officer to throw the man against the wall in an attempt to arrest him.

It’s alleged that the fight broke out when the son tried to speak with the officer on his father’s behalf. At that point, the second transit officer intervened.

Assault charges were laid against 64-year-old Russell Gillman and his 35-year-old son Jamie. Those charges were dropped last month.

“This case is about those in authority overstepping their bounds,” Michael Smitiuch, one of the lawyers representing the Gillmans, said in a statement. “Both the Gillmans and the public deserve assurances that this sort of incident won’t be repeated.”

The lawsuit claims that the two transit enforcement officers applied excessive and unreasonable force under the circumstances and that they were “unqualified and inadequately trained” by the TTC for their position.

The TTC conducted an internal investigation but the review was not escalated because no formal complaint was filed against the transit officers.

The two officers were transit enforcement officers at the time of the incident. One has since transitioned to special constable status, which affords similar powers to police officers.

Toronto police investigated but decided not to charge the TTC officers.


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