Hockey Canada and other minor leagues sued over concussions

A 14-year-old boy is suing Hockey Canada and other minor leagues after he was cross-checked by an opponent, resulting in a serious concussion.

Lawyer for Alexis Turcotte says player who cross-checked him twice received only a 2-minute penalty

Alexis Turcotte, 14, suffered a serious concussion three years ago after being cross-checked twice during a hockey game. (Radio-Canada)

A 14-year-old boy is suing Hockey Canada and other minor leagues after he was cross-checked by an opponent, resulting in a serious concussion.

In 2010, Alexis Turcotte, then 11 years old, was on the ice with his peewee team in Trois-Pistoles, Que., when he was reportedly cross-checked from behind.

When he got up, he was cross-checked again, this time hard in the face.

His mother, Annie Turcotte, was in the stands that day.

“I saw that Alexis wasn’t moving. He was completely motionless on the ground,” she recalled.

Alexis said he has no memory of that day.

For months afterwards, he stayed in his dark bedroom because noise and lights were too hard for him to bear. His grades suffered, he said, adding that he can no longer play contact sports.

Quebec outlawed cross-checks in minor leagues more than 25 years ago. Despite that, Jean-PierreMénard, the lawyer representing Alexis in civil court, said the player who hit his client received nothing more than a two-minute penalty.

A full report on the incident was sent to the local league, Hockey Quebec and Hockey Canada, but Ménard said none of them followed up.

“It’s like saying, ‘It’s not that bad, it’s OK,’” said the lawyer. He equates the lack of response to encouraging violence and is seeking $370,000 on behalf of Alexis and his family from the Basques minor hockey association, Hockey Canada, Hockey Quebec and the alleged aggressor and his family.

Ménard said that other victims of bad hockey hits have sued the perpetrators, but this is the first time someone is going after the leagues.

None of the leagues would comment because the case is before the courts.

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