Earlier this year, the Canadian Hockey League (the “CHL”), the umbrella organization for Canada’s three top major junior hockey leagues, settled their minimum wage, class action lawsuit. As of June 18, 2020, the CHL is once again the subject of another class action lawsuit. This action has been brought by players who allegedly suffered physical, sexual, and other types of abuse while playing in the CHL.
In the Statement of Claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the plaintiffs allege that, in addition to the abuse they suffered, the CHL “…perpetuated a toxic environment that condones violent, discriminatory, racist, sexualized, and homophobic conduct, including physical and sexual assault, on the underage players they are obligated to protect”. It then goes into explicit detail of the individual experiences of Daniel Carcillo and Garrett Taylor, the two representative plaintiffs in the lawsuit, during their rookie seasons in the CHL.
Class action lawsuits involve a group of people, or class members, collectively suing a large organization, typically a large corporation or government, for collective wrongs that the organization has allegedly committed. In this case, the class members are current and former CHL players who have experienced abuse, and the alleged wrongdoing is the systematic and institutionalized abuse and harassment at all levels of the CHL.
In the wake of the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements, we may start to see similar class action lawsuits launched as a way to shed light on systematic abuse and discrimination. If you have questions about a class action lawsuit, contact us here.
Written by: Serena Cheong, Summer Law Student