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Alexis Turcotte Hits Hockey Canada With Lawsuit Over Head Injury

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BOB NICHOLSON
Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson speaks to reporters. (Hockey Canada) | Hockey Canada

MONTREAL - Hockey Canada and Hockey Quebec are bring sued by a player who was seriously injured in the head with a stick during a peewee CC level game.

Alexis Turcotte and his mother Annie have also named the Basques minor hockey association, the Lower St-Lawrence minor hockey league, as well as the alleged aggressor in their civil lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Quebec Superior Court seeks $370,000 in damages, including $50,000 in punitive damages.

Lawyer Jean-Pierre Menard said he believes this is the first lawsuit of its kind in that it also targets hockey associations.

"Violence is a real scourge," he said Wednesday.

The incident allegedly happened during a game on Nov. 27, 2010, in Amqui.

Turcotte allegedly was hit from behind when play was stopped and fell to the ice. The then-11-year-old was reportedly hit again in the face.

He collapsed on the ice and stayed there for several minutes before being taken to hospital.

Menard said the boy, now 14, had to wear a brace for three months and couldn't play. He also has no memory of the event.

The lawyer says he suffered severe pain and finds it difficult to concentrate.

Menard said the offending player received a two-minute penalty for his actions. Nothing else was done, he said, although a report of the incident was sent to Hockey Canada.

"The associations have regulations that are very good but they are not always applied," said the lawyer. "Our case is a prime example. It's like a giving permission to do it again."

The alleged victim, who couldn't play hockey for a lengthy period, also didn't get the necessary support, Menard said.

"Nobody bothered (with Alexis) in the days, weeks and months after this happened to him," the lawyer said.

"There was no help or support. Young people can get hurt if you're not careful."

Menard said he hopes the case will eventually be used in jurisprudence.

"The organizations that govern hockey don't enforce their own rules," he said. "Maybe the courts will force them to do so."

Andre Brin, a spokesman for Hockey Canada, said via email the organization has "no comment to make on lawsuits that are filed."

Hockey Quebec did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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