Allegations by former Lethbridge Hurricanes player included in CHL hazing lawsuit
LETHBRIDGE -- Former CHL players Daniel Carcillo and Garrett Taylor filed a lawsuit Thursday in Ontario Superior Court alleging decades of abuse, rampant hazing and bullying of underage players at the Canadian junior hockey level.
The CHL’s three member organizations — the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) — are listed as defendants, as are all 60 CHL teams.
The lawsuit seeks damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and a declaration that the teams and leagues are vicariously liable for abuse perpetrated by their employees and players.
“Abuse issues, violence, and unnecessary sort of bigotry it is a unfortunate part of the history of Canadian junior hockey” said lead counsel James Sayce.
Taylor, who played two seasons for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, made a statement on the issue which read in part, "My focus in this claim is the imbalance of power that (exists) between players and the adults who run the leagues and the teams."
“The concept that you have to go through abuse when your 16 in order to harden you, that's not how the game should be played,” said Sayce.
The lawsuit alleges players were hit with hockey sticks, sexually assaulted, subjected to verbal abuse, forced to fight each other and made to consume large amounts of alcohol.
Carcillo posted a video on twitter, saying the lawsuit is about the victims more than himself.
The WHL hasn't responded to requests for comment but CHL official said in a statement, it “has not been served with any court documents and therefore we have no comment at this time."
“What we're really trying to do is avoid some of the abuse that has happened in the past from happening in the future” said Sayce.
The CHL recently agreed to a $30 million settlement in a minimum-wage class-action lawsuit. The league also faces another proposed class-action case related to concussions.