After eight months of legal battles, Kyle Beach and the Blackhawks have reached a resolution.
Hawks lawyers and Beach’s lawyer, Susan Loggans, agreed to a confidential out-of-court financial settlement during a third-party mediation session Wednesday.
The settlement functionally resolves Beach’s long-pending negligence lawsuit against the team, which made claims — backed up by the Jenner & Block investigation — that former Hawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him in May 2010 and that Hawks executives knowingly covered it up.
“The Blackhawks hope that this resolution will bring some measure of peace and closure for Mr. Beach,” the two parties said in a joint statement. “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.”
Hawks CEO Danny Wirtz instructed team lawyers on Oct. 26 to seek a settlement, but the two parties initially made little progress — continuing a pattern of contentious court filings and public statements that dated back to Beach’s lawsuit’s filing in late April. Both sides had continued to file new motions to meet court deadlines.
Loggans’ initial resistance to mediation wilted when a judge denied her motion to progress the lawsuit to the discovery phase, however, and Wednesday’s session was scheduled weeks ago.
Beach’s 2021 legal process — as well as the 2010 cover-up it brought to light — will go down as one of the ugliest moments in Hawks franchise history and a stain on the franchise’s glory era of on-ice success. It had already forced general manager Stan Bowman and fellow executive Al MacIsaac’s resignations.
The Hawks are scheduled to hold another mediation session with a man identified as “John Doe 2” on Monday, TSN’s Rick Westhead reported. Doe 2 has alleged in another lawsuit the Hawks helped Aldrich get a job at a Michigan high school where Aldrich sexually assaulted him in 2013.