Former Blackhawks Player Who Accused Coach of Sexual Assault Agrees to Mediation With Team

Kyle Beach, a former Chicago Blackhawks player who sued the team for allegedly doing nothing when he accused video coach Brad Aldrich of sexual assault in 2010, has agreed to mediation to try to settle the case.

Beach said the team largely ignored his allegations against Aldrich in 2010. An independent review commissioned by the team found they "badly mishandled Beach's allegations," according to the Associated Press.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Blackhawks had been pushing for mediation for weeks, but Beach's attorney, Susan Loggans, had initially fought against it. The two sides attempted settlement talks earlier this month, but the Blackhawks' lawyer said Beach's financial demand was too high. Loggans told the local Chicago news outlet they would not be able to resolve the issue by lawyer-to-lawyer discussion alone and that she was "disgusted" by the Blackhawks' lawyers' lack of "fair play."

Loggans said the judge in the lawsuit denied her motion to move the case to the discovery phase, in which each side would have to gather evidence, leaving her with few other options. The non-binding mediation is set to begin December 15. Beach is looking to receive more than $50,000 from the team.

Loggans and the Blackhawks' lawyers told reporters in a joint statement they will be working with a mutually agreed-upon third-party mediator to try to settle the issue without litigation.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Chicago Blackhawks, jersey
The Chicago Blackhawks and former player Kyle Beach agreed to a third-party mediator to come a settlement agreement. In this May 3 file photo, the Chicago Blackhawks logo is displayed on a jersey in Raleigh, North Carolina. Karl B DeBlaker, File/AP Photo

The fallout from the lawsuit included top executives losing their jobs in Chicago and stretched to other teams, including Florida, where veteran coach Joel Quenneville—the coach of the Blackhawks at the time—resigned. The NHL fined Chicago $2 million.

Loggans and attorneys for the Blackhawks held settlement talks in early November after the investigation's findings were released, meeting for about an hour. She said after those discussions that "each side had different viewpoints."

The investigation found no evidence that owner Rocky Wirtz or his son, chairman Danny Wirtz, were aware of the allegations before the lawsuit was brought to their attention this year. Danny Wirtz in October said he has instructed team attorneys to seek "a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances."

Loggans also is part of a second lawsuit against the team by a former high school student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan after he left Chicago. Talks between both sides are continuing over John Doe 2′s pending lawsuit.

Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks
A number of high-profile executives lost their jobs after an investigation into the sexual assault allegations. Here, in this July 26, 2019, file photo, Stan Bowman speaks to the media during the NHL hockey team's convention in Chicago. Amr Alfiky, File/AP Photo