Canadian Hockey League facing Lawsuit alleging Systemic Abuse and Hazing
Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo and class action firm Koskie Minsky LLP commenced a lawsuit today against the leagues and the teams that make up the Canadian Hockey League. The CHL is comprised of the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The action is on behalf of children aged 15-17 who were sexually and physically assaulted, hazed and otherwise abused while away from home and playing for CHL teams. Mr. Carcillo alleges abuse while he played for the Sarnia Sting in 2002/2003. He is joined in his claim by Garrett Taylor who alleges abuse while playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2008/2009.
This class action comes after many players have come forward and publicly shared stories of widespread abuse and hazing in the CHL. Many players have shared stories that included severe sexual and physical abuse, bigotry and other degrading treatment.
Daniel Carcillo has stated:
"This case is on behalf of underage minors who suffered violent hazing, physical and sexual assault and psychological trauma while playing major junior hockey. I was one of those kids when I played in the OHL. I know there are many more just like me."
"I believe this case will give those who were abused a chance to be heard. In my experience, sharing stories of abuse is part of the healing process. It allows a person to take the power back."
"I also believe that this lawsuit will create real positive change in Canadian junior hockey. This type of abuse has nothing to do with the sport and it needs to stop."
James Sayce, a partner at Koskie Minsky, has stated:
"Hockey is a part of Canada's national identity. However, this type of physical and sexual abuse of minors has no place in the game. It is toxic, destructive and degrading."
The class action alleges the leagues and the teams were entrusted with the care of these minors and were negligent and breached fiduciary duties owed to them.
These allegations have not yet been proven in court.