Shuttle bus driver sues Ottawa Senators in harassment case


Ottawa Senators former assistant general manager Randy Lee. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A former Ottawa Senators assistant general manager and the NHL hockey team were sued for negligence on Friday over allegations he harassed a hotel shuttle bus driver last year in Buffalo.

Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit along with Randy Lee and the Senators is a bar and grill called 716, where he had been a patron on the night of the incident. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Lee had already pleaded guilty to a criminal violation stemming from the encounter with the then-19-year-old driver that occurred while he was a passenger on the shuttle bus and still working for the Senators. The driver said Lee inappropriately touched himself while making lewd comments and rubbing his shoulders.

As a result, 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," the lawsuit says.

The suit says the Senators should be found liable because the team was aware of Lee’s alleged history of lewd behaviour and didn’t do enough to stop it. Finally, it says 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.

Lee’s lawyer, Paul Cambria, said in a text message on Friday that he hadn’t yet read the lawsuit and declined comment. An attorney for the Senators, Dennis Vacco, said that the hockey club would "vigorously fight" what he called a "frivolous" civil complaint.

There was no immediate comment from the owners of the sports bar.

The AP does not generally identify victims of a sex crime.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.