Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo is spearheading a class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League and its member teams on behalf of players who allegedly suffered abuse while playing major junior hockey.
Carcillo and Garrett Taylor, who played in the Western Hockey League from 2008-10, filed a statement of claim Thursday with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The CHL and its three member organizations – the WHL, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League – are listed as defendants, as are all 60 teams that play under the CHL umbrella.
A statement from Koskie Minsky LLP, the law firm representing Carcillo and Taylor, said 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.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
“We have not been served with any court documents and therefore have no comment at this time,” the CHL said in an e-mail to The Canadian Press.
Carcillo, who played for the OHL’s Sarnia Sting from 2002-05, and Taylor both allege they suffered abuse while playing major junior hockey.
The lawsuit seeks damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract, and a declaration that the teams and the leagues are vicariously liable for abuse perpetrated by their employees and players.
“This case is on behalf of underage minors who suffered violent hazing, physical and sexual assault and psychological trauma while playing major junior hockey,” Carcillo said in a statement. “I was one of those kids when I played in the OHL. I know there are many more just like me.”
Carcillo played parts of nine seasons in the NHL and earned Stanley Cup rings with Chicago in 2013 and 2015. He’s been an advocate for players’ rights since retiring in 2015.