Beach, Blackhawks will go to mediator to try to settle lawsuit

A view of the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Kyle Beach and the Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to mediation as they attempt to settle a lawsuit against the NHL team.

The Blackhawks and counsel for Kyle Beach and John Doe 2 released a joint statement on the decision on Tuesday.

“We are working together to achieve a fair resolution of both cases outside of the litigation process,” the statement says. “To that end, we have agreed to enter mediation with a mutually agreed upon third-party mediator, commencing on December 15th, and will engage in good faith efforts to resolve these matters.”

Last month, Beach identified himself as one of the victims alleging he was sexually assaulted by former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.

Beach, a former player in the Blackhawks organization, is suing the team over alleged actions that were made public in a report published by Jenner & Block last month after an investigation into conduct that occurred during the team’s 2010 run to the Stanley Cup. The investigation revealed that Beach reported to team employees that he had been sexually assaulted by Aldrich in May of 2010. The investigation also revealed that a management meeting was held on May 23 to discuss how to respond to Beach’s allegation but that no action was taken until mid-June, after the team had won the Stanley Cup.

None of the allegations made in the lawsuit have been proven in court.

In a statement after the findings of the report were made public, Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said that he had instructed the team’s lawyers to come to a “fair resolution” in the lawsuit, which was initially filed in May.

The Chicago Sun Times has reported that settlement negotiations were held on Nov. 2 and 5. The newspaper said that the Blackhawks lawyers believe the two parties have “very different views” of what a settlement could look like.

Beach’s attorney Susan Loggans has not publicly disclosed what her client is asking for in damages, but she told the Sun Times that it included estimated career earnings for Beach, a former first-round pick who never skated in an NHL game.

The 31-year-old Beach was a member of the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in 2010 and was called up to skate with the NHL squad. The native of Kelowna, B.C., was picked 11th overall by Chicago in the 2008 NHL Draft.

Beach stayed with Rockford through the first part of the 2013-14 season before heading to Sweden to play. He never suited up for the Blackhawks in a regular-season or playoff game.

The NHLPA also is conducting an independent review of how the Association handled the 2010 allegations.

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