Kyle Beach has settled with the Chicago Blackhawks after mediation held on Wednesday.
The mediation session was conducted on Zoom and was to include Beach, his lawyer Susan Loggans, a member of the Wirtz family and the lawyers for the Blackhawks. The mediation, in front of a third party, is non-binding.
The parties – Rocky Wirtz, Danny Wirtz and Loggans – issued a joint statement to Sportsnet:
“The parties are pleased to announce that today’s mediation resulted in a confidential settlement between the Blackhawks and Kyle Beach. The Blackhawks hope that this resolution will bring some measure of peace and closure for Mr. Beach. As for the Blackhawks organization, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that, going forward, this team will be a beacon for professionalism, respect and integrity in our community. We remain grateful for the trust and support of the Blackhawks community, and we promise to continue working every day to earn and maintain that trust.”
Lawyers representing the Blackhawks had requested mediation on Nov. 12 in their lawsuit settlement negotiations after talks between the two sides broke down.
In the letter requesting mediation, the Blackhawks attorneys wrote that an initial demand from Beach was “extraordinary” and did not respond with a counteroffer.
“We are working together to achieve a fair resolution of both cases outside of the litigation process,” Loggans and Blackhawks lawyers wrote in a joint statement Nov. 23. “To that end, we have agreed to enter mediation with a mutually agreed upon third-party mediator … and will engage in good-faith efforts to resolve these matters.”
The Blackhawks filed a motion on Nov. 30 to dismiss Beach’s lawsuit, arguing that the statute of limitations (two years) had expired before his case was filed in court, but the motion has not been ruled on.
Beach, a former player in the Blackhawks organization, was suing the team over alleged negligence in its handling of his sexual assault case, made public in a report published by Jenner & Block in early November 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 then-video coach Brad Aldrich in May 2010. The investigation also revealed that a management meeting was held 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 previously reported that settlement negotiations were held on Nov. 2 and 5. The newspaper added that the Blackhawks lawyers believed the two parties have “very different views” of what a settlement could look like.
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.
According to the Sun Times, the Blackhawks also requested mediation before the Nov. 2 negotiation took place but that Loggans was opposed to that path.