Tragic shooting in Alphen aan den Rijn
6 people died and 16 got injured when Tristan van der Vlis opened fire in De Ridderhof mall (Alphen aan den Rijn) on 9 April 2011. Van der Vlis had just before been granted a permit by Hollands Midden police region to carry guns.
Beer advocaten started proceedings, asking the Court of The Hague to rule that the police were responsible for the consequences of Van der Vlis’ wielding a gun. On 4 February 2015 the Court passed judgment. Although the Court held that the police acted unlawfully by issuing a firearms licence, it did not find the police liable for the damage sustained by the victims of the shooting. For more information, please click here for a redacted version of the judgment plus explanatory notes (in Dutch). On behalf of the victims and surviving relatives appeal has been filed against this judgment. On 4 December 2017 the parties presented their arguments on appeal.
On 27 March 2018 the Court of Appeal delivered its ruling (in Dutch), deciding in favour of the victims and the surviving relatives. The police has been ordered to pay for the material and immaterial loss caused by the Tristan van der Vlis shooting. The Court of Appeal held the police responsible because they granted a firearms licence to Tristan van der Vlis despite his mental issues. The police have filed appeal in cassation against this ruling. On 18 January 2019 the case was heard by the Supreme Court, which is expected to deliver its ruling in the autumn of 2019.
At the request of various surviving relatives and victims Beer advocaten also filed proceedings against the State of the Netherlands to gain insight into the report drawn up by the Dutch Institute of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology about Van der Vlis. The report elucidates the psychological condition of Van der Vlis explaining why he should not have been granted a licence. Advocate-general Langemeijer issued an opinion for the Supreme Court (in Dutch). He felt that the criteria applied by the Court of Appeal in dismissing the request to gain insight into Tristan van der Vlis’ psychiatric report were too strict.
In its ruling (in Dutch) of 10 July 2015 the Supreme Court concurred with the advocate-general and held that the Court of Amsterdam will have to decide whether the NIFP report should be disclosed to the victims and their families.
Beer advocaten furthermore discovered that Van der Vlis had taken out liability insurance. The insurer was prepared to pay out the total insured amount of € 454,000 to all victims and surviving relatives. The County Court of Gouda has appointed an administrator of Van der Vlis’ estate, which includes the insured sum. One year later the administrator issued a recommendation on how to distribute the insured sum among the persons entitled. Further to that recommendation the victims and their families received their share in the insured amount in July 2015.
Beer advocaten counsels several of the surviving relatives and victims on the liability and compensation.
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