Student whose throat was slashed in UBC dormitory alleges negligence in lawsuit

Mary Hare was in her room in 2016 when Thamer Almestadi entered carrying a knife, civil lawsuit says

A young woman whose throat was slashed inside a University of British Columbia student residence has filed a lawsuit against the school alleging negligence.

The notice of civil claim says Mary Hare was inside her room in Salish House in October 2016 when international student Thamer Almestadi entered carrying a knife.

Almestadi’s trial heard he knocked on the 19-year-old’s door, slit her throat and started choking her before other students pulled him off.

A court found the teen not criminally responsible because he was suffering from a psychotic episode in which he believed the Qur’an had sent him a message to kill Hare.

Hare alleges in the lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court that UBC failed to install or properly install a peephole or any chains, bars or latches that would allow a door to be opened safely while remaining locked and preventing unwanted entry of potential assailants.

None of the allegations has been proven in court and the university has not yet filed a statement of defence.

The lawsuit says UBC should have been aware of the risks of forced entry and assaults in dormitory rooms.

“The assault occurred due to the negligence of UBC,” it says.

The university failed “to take any, or any reasonable, care for the plaintiff’s safety while knowing, or having ought to have known that she was at risk of imminent danger, violence and/or threat,” it adds.

The documents say Hare suffered lacerations and abrasions on her throat, a cut to her shoulder, injuries to her trachea and larynx and still has scars from the attack.

She also continues to suffer depression, anxiety, emotional upset and post-traumatic stress disorder, the lawsuit says.

She is seeking damages for her pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and past and future wage loss. No specific dollar amount is provided.

The B.C. Review Board discharged Almestadi from a psychiatric hospital earlier this year in order for him to return to his home country of Saudi Arabia, where his parents had designed a treatment plan.

The Canadian Press

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