Hockey hit leads to lawsuit

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A former high school hockey player who was knocked unconscious during a playoff game two years ago is suing the school division, the coaches of the opposing team and the player who hit him.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/02/2012 (3930 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A former high school hockey player who was knocked unconscious during a playoff game two years ago is suing the school division, the coaches of the opposing team and the player who hit him.

Braeden King, of Killarney, said he was playing for his high school team, the Killarney Raiders, when he was knocked unconscious by an what he calls an illegal hit from behind from Patrick Vandoorne, a player with the Boissevain Broncos.

In a statement of claim filed recently in Queen’s Bench, King, now 19 and a university student, said the alleged illegal hit happened in the first period of the second game of a three-game playoff series in February, 2010.

King states that he was tied with up another Broncos player near the end boards when he alleges that Vandoorne raced toward him, jumped off the ice and hit him in the shoulder and head, driving his head into the boards and glass, rendering him lying unconscious on the ice.

Also named in the court action are the coach and assistant coach of the Boissevain Broncos, Travis Laing and Corey Billaney, and the Turtle Mountain School Division, where both coaches are also teachers.

Statements of defence have not been filed. The allegations have not been proven in court.

King states that he continues to suffer from concussion-related symptoms, including headaches, short-term memory loss, change in personality and mood, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, loss of concentration, and depression.

King is seeking unspecified general damages and special damages for impaired future earnings capacity, and for the costs associated with his treatment, medical care, and transportation, and legal costs.

King states that although Vandoorne was not penalized on the play, the hit was contrary to the rules of play of the Westman High School Hockey League and guidelines established for high school athletes.

King states that because he was tied up with another player, he was in a vulnerable position, adding that Vandoorne knew or ought to have known that such hit would cause serious injury. King said he was in a position where he could not see Vandoorne racing towards him and unable to prepare himself for the hit.

The Broncos coaches are named in the suit for their alleged failure to prevent or discourage Vandoorne from engaging in aggressive and unsportsmanlike conduct throughout the 2009/10 hockey season and the playoff game where King was injured.

Vandoorne is a multi-sport athlete who is now studying civil engineering at the University of North Dakota, where earlier this month he was named to the Athletic Director’s honour roll for achieving a least a 3.0 semester or cumulative grade point average while a member of the school’s baseball team last fall.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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