Saturday, 18 May 2019

Just Won't Go Away

It seemed as though all the legal problems that the Ottawa Senators had faced over their arena debacle and the Randy Lee situation had passed. The arena deal is still being negotiated quietly as far as the Senators want anyone to know, and Lee pleaded guilty to the harassment charge brought forth by a 19-year-old male hotel shuttle driver in Buffalo back in December. For the first time in months, it seemed as though the Senators weren't making the news for all the wrong reasons. That is, until yesterday when another lawsuit was dropped on them by that same 19-year-old male hotel shuttle driver who now feels that more people were responsible for causing the entire ordeal with Randy Lee.

According to the new filing, the Ottawa Senators hockey club, Randy Lee, and the bar and grill restaurant known as 716 are being sued for negligence for unspecified damages as the defendant alleges that "the team was aware of Lee's alleged history of lewd behaviour and didn't do enough to stop it" while "the owners of the sports bar and grill should share blame because employees there continued to serve drinks to Lee after he was visibly drunk".

In the new lawsuit, the plaintiff "was injured externally, internally and permanently in and about the head, body, limbs and nervous system so that he became and will continue to be disabled and will continue to suffer pain, discomfort, disfigurement, distress and psychological adjustment, distress and trauma." I somehow think that there a ton of claims in the above sentence that are demonstrably false when it came to having Randy Lee touch the shuttle driver, but if you're going to go for broke in this lawsuit, just claim everything, I guess.

The Sportsnet report linked above states that Lee's lawyer, Paul Cambria, had yet read the lawsuit and declined comment. Dennis Vacco, and attorney for the Ottawa Senators, said that the hockey club would "vigorously fight" this lawsuit, calling it a "frivolous" civil complaint.

I'm not a judge or lawyer, but I have to agree with Vacco in that this lawsuit seems a little far-fetched when you consider the allegations of distress that are made in the filing. The burden of proof will lie with the defendant to illustrate the various injuries and the ongoing distress he claims he will exhibit, but this whole lawsuit seems like a money-grab.

After everything that the Senators have gone through over the last 24 months, here's hoping something finally goes their way because I really don't think this lawsuit has a lot of merit built into it.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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