March 27, 2023
What Daniel Carcillo hopes to achieve in the CHL trial

What Daniel Carcillo hopes to achieve in the CHL trial

Daniel Carcillo hopes the lawsuit against the CHL will empower more victims to come forward safely. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images)

The fight against systemic abuse in Canadian ice hockey will take another step November 14-18 as a request for certification before the Ontario Superior Court will be heard in a class action lawsuit led by former NHL player Daniel Carcillo, a former player of the Western Hockey League, Garrett Taylor, vs. Canadian Hockey League.

According to Koskie Minsky LLP’s website, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, “the lawsuit alleges widespread and ritualized harassment, racism, homophobia, sexual and physical abuse in Canada’s major junior hockey leagues,” including the OHL, WHL and QMJHL.

The certification hearing is a necessary step to identify the lawsuit as a class action.

As co-moderator of The broadcast and Attorney Samantha Chang clarified, “In order for a class action to proceed, the court must determine or confirm that a lawsuit is to proceed as a class action, appoint a representative plaintiff (or plaintiffs) and establish the common issues or questions of fact and rights to be established at trial.”

“Certification is a procedural step to weed out cases that are not ordinary class actions, and it does not determine the merits of the case,” Chang told Yahoo Sports Canada. “The judge will focus on whether the representative plaintiff and the proposed lawsuit meet the legal requirements to proceed as a class action.”

According to court documents, Carcillo, the likely representative plaintiff, and a large group of former CHL members allege that leagues and teams “acted in concert to maintain a toxic system that condones violent, discriminatory, racist, sexualized and homophobic behavior, including physical and sexual assault.”

Carcillo hopes this lawsuit, and the truth it seeks, will allow more victims to come forward safely and will inevitably create safer reporting systems and environments within the sport.

“I think it’s important to make sure victims have a way to speak up and share their stories, and create a safer environment where minors come out in a positive culture and hopefully don’t have to experience what has traditionally happened to several.” Go on for decades,” Carcillo told Yahoo Sports Canada.

This is not the first class action lawsuit the CHL has faced in recent years. In 2020, the league settled three lawsuits that paid former players $30 million for minimum wage, overtime, and back pay. The league is also facing class action lawsuits related to concussion handling. With so many issues facing the CHL and Canada’s governing body for the sport, Hockey Canada, Carcillo hopes this class action lawsuit will result in meaningful change.

“The truth will come out in the wash,” Carcillo said. “It’s been like this for decades and there were forces that didn’t want that to change. They see that people are becoming better educated and parents are not putting their children in the sport because of past transgressions. So hopefully there will be more changes because it’s certainly not good enough now. Hopefully things will get better.”

At the certification hearings, the defendants also filed a countermotion to drop claims against certain defendants.

Carcillo, who spent three seasons in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting and Mississauga IceDogs, continued a successful nine-year NHL career and won two Stanley Cups. Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, he hopes victims will find peace and that support will become available to help heal and create a safer environment within the game he loves.

“I hope people can find peace by sharing their story,” Carcillo said.

“The people who have already come forward should feel really good about what they’ve done because they likely saved some lives and empowered others to speak out, not just within hockey culture, but to support survivors.” to abuse in general. There are some things that should come out of this to support people’s ongoing therapy that they need to continue with and a reporting framework and system that will allow people to safely report things that are currently and in could happen in the future.”

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