Lawsuit stems from U of O’s decision to temporarily suspend team in 2014 following sexual assault allegations
Content warning: Sexual violence
The University of Ottawa and former players on the Gee-Gees men’s hockey team have settled a class-action lawsuit, the administration announced Monday evening. The settlement was approved by the Ontario Superior Court on Friday.
The lawsuit from 2015 that sought $6 million in damages came after the university temporarily suspended the men’s hockey team in March 2014 following sexual assault allegations stemming from a road game against Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. in February 2014. The head coach of the team at the time was also fired.
Two players, former team captain Guillaume Donovan and former assistant captain David Foucher, were later charged with sexual assault by Thunder Bay police in August 2014. They were found not guilty in June 2018.
The suit, led by former player Andrew Creppin on behalf of himself and 21 teammates, alleged the university tarnished the reputations of the rest of the players who weren’t charged. The U of O did not release the terms of the settlement.
“The U of O entered into the settlement with members of this class action suit because it believes it is in the best interest of both parties, particularly concerning the costs involved for both sides,” the administration said in a press release. “The settlement is not an admission of liability by the university.”
“However, taking into account the extensive burden and expense of litigation, the university believes this agreement is fair and brings finality to the matter,” the administration added in its press release.
The Gee-Gees men’s hockey team was relaunched for the 2016-17 season.
—with files from Spencer Van Dyk, Sabrina Nemis, Anchal Sharma, Nadia Drissi El-Bouzaidi, Eric Davidson & Spencer Murdock