Convicted B.C. gun dealer sues from prison over car crash injuries

A Langley man jailed for modifying and selling guns won a partial victory in a lawsuit.

The man dubbed “the Dr. Frankenstein of guns” has successfully sued over a traffic accident that took place before he was imprisoned on firearms charges.

In a lawsuit launched from prison, Bradley Michael Friesen sued a driver who collided with his vehicle in 2011. Friesen was seeking up to $288,000 in damages, plus court costs.

However, the judge found it difficult to separate out the injuries Friesen received from three car crashes and two violent attacks in prison. He also questioned Friesen’s truthfulness.

In the end, Justice Trevor Armstrong awarded just over $88,000 and court costs for the convicted gun dealer.

Bradley Michael Friesen was arrested in 2014 and sentenced in 2016 after pleading guilty to a slew of firearms charges, including manufacturing, illegal possession, importing or exporting unauthorized gun components, and possession of prohibited or restricted firearms.

When organized crime investigators in Canada, tipped off by American Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents, closed in on Friesen he was camping with his then-five-year-old child in Osoyoos.

Officers found two assault rifles, a 1943 Sten sub machine gun, seven silencers, and magazines and ammo in Friesen’s tent and van. One gun, unloaded, was within reach of his son’s booster seat, officers said, and more gun parts were stashed under the seat itself.

Before that arrest, Armstrong’s ruling showed Friesen’s life had varied between periods of drug addiction and criminal activity, and honest work.

A cocaine and heroin addict from around the age of 20, in 2001 he was convicted of attempted murder and sent to prison for five years.

After release, Friesen spent several years labouring removing asbestos and with a Langley-based roofing company.

But sometime around 2011, he slipped back into criminal activity. Friesen was chauffeuring drug dealers, then by 2013 he was driving for a dial-a-dope business. In 2014, he started modifying and selling gun parts and acquired illegal ammunition.

After his 2014 arrest, he was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison. With credit for pre-trial time, he was eligible for day parole as of this year.

He suffered injuries multiple times over the years, including a back injury working in 2009, two car crashes in 2011 and another in 2013, and in two assaults in Surrey Pretrial before he was sentenced.

The crash in question took place in late 2011, on 192nd Street in Cloverdale. Friesen’s GMC Sonoma pickup was stopped at a red light when it was involved in a collision with a Ford Mustang.

Friesen claimed he was rear-ended while stopped, while the other driver said Friesen backed into her after she pulled up behind him.

Armstrong ruled that the other driver was responsible for the crash, finding her testimony contradictory, and that she had struck Friesen because she was not paying attention as she approached Highway 10.

Friesen’s lawyers argued that he is now almost incapacitated when it comes to manual labour, thus damaging his ability to work after he’s released from prison.

In addition to compensation for lost future wages, Friesen argued for money for future care, including “an ObusForme support and additional pillows while in custody,” according to the judgment.

However, Armstrong had his doubts about the severity of Friesen’s condition.

“I conclude that the plaintiff [Friesen] has likely exaggerated his description of his symptoms, improvement and current circumstances,” Armstrong wrote in his ruling, adding “…I find he is given to departing from the truth when it is to his financial benefit.”

But he did accept that Friesen suffered some modest injuries in all three crashes which have affected him, causing physical pain.

The judge awarded Friesen $60,000 in damages and $25,000 for lost future income, as well as $3,630 in compensation for special damages and future care costs.

Friesen said he had offers of work when he is released from prison.

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