The Chicago Blackhawks have filed a motion to dismiss former player Kyle Beach’s lawsuit against the organization, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead. The suit seeks damages over the team's failure to act when Beach first reported being a victim of sexual assault at the hands of a former coach in 2010.
Filed on Nov. 30, the motion argued that the statute of limitations was no longer valid by the time Beach filed his lawsuit in May 2021. Westhead reports that, “according to statute of limitations laws, an individual seeking damages for a personal injury has two years from the date of an injury to file a lawsuit.”
The alleged sexual assault by then-video coach Brad Aldrich took place in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, according to Beach’s lawsuit.
“Mr. Beach argues that his failure to timely file this lawsuit is excused because he repressed memories of the assault, but this claim cannot toll the statute of limitations,” the Blackhawks argued. "Mr. Beach knew immediately in May 2010 that he had been assaulted; that the assault was wrongful; and that he had been harmed by it. He cannot toll the statute of limitations by claiming repressed memory."
Chicago’s motion also mentions that the organization will be meeting with Beach’s attorneys on Dec. 15 to attempt to settle the lawsuit.
Chicago-based law firm Jenner & Block carried out an independent investigation into the allegations against Aldrich and the Blackhawks this past summer, releasing their findings publicly through a lengthy report on Oct. 27. The report outlined how multiple members of the team’s front office and coaching staff, once informed of the misconduct, chose not to share Beach’s experiences with the proper authorities.
Westhead reports that “it's unlikely that a judge will rule on the Blackhawks' motion to dismiss before the Dec. 15 settlement conference.”
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