Hockey Canada, CHL settle lawsuit over alleged sexual assault involving World Junior players

Content Warning: The following article contains references to sexual assault

A woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight Canadian Hockey League players, including members of Canada’s gold medal-winning 2017-18 World Junior team, has agreed to drop a lawsuit against the players, Hockey Canada, and the CHL after reaching a settlement.

The woman, whose allegations are detailed in court records filed in Ontario Superior Court in London, Ont., on Apr. 20, claimed she was repeatedly assaulted while intoxicated in a hotel room following a Hockey Canada Foundation gala and golf event in the city in June of 2018.

Hockey Canada and the CHL were named as defendants in the case, as were eight unnamed CHL players “including but not limited to members of the Canada U20 Men’s Junior Hockey Team.” The hockey players are identified in the 18-page statement of claim as John Does 1-8.

The allegations against the players were never proven in court and none of the defendants filed a response.

The plaintiff, identified in court records as “E.M.” asked a judge to award $3.55 million, including $2 million for past and future pecuniary damages, $1 million for punitive damages, $300,000 for pain and suffering, and $50,000 for mental and emotional stress.

Robert Talach, the plaintiff’s London-based lawyer, confirmed to TSN his client accepted a settlement in the case. He refused to say whether the woman had signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of her settlement.

“The plaintiff is satisfied with the outcome and relieved that this difficult matter has been concluded,” Talach wrote in an email to TSN on Tuesday. “She has nothing further to add and, consistent with her expressed wishes and behaviour throughout, requests that her privacy and desire not to be identified continues to be respected.”

The woman, who is now 24, also alleged in the statement of claim that Hockey Canada was made aware of the alleged assaults and failed to investigate or sanction the players involved.

Hockey Canada spokeswoman Esther Madziya said that the organization informed London police about the allegations.

Author: Lucy Green