January 14, 2005

Pierre Mitsou Suing The 67s

An article by Sean McKibbon from the Ottawa Sun written last week (1.6.2005), Ex-67 Mitsou sues team. Didn’t catch this at the time (thanks StatsGuy).

Seeks $600Gs over horseplay gone wrong

The Ottawa 67's 2003-2004 defenceman of the year Pierre Mitsou is suing his former club and a teammate for $600,000 over a freak eye injury received in a moment of locker room horseplay.

Mitsou, who as assistant captain helped get the team to the OHL final last season, was injured the previous season on Jan. 25, 2002 when teammate Adam Chapman allegedly used a hockey stick to shoot an ice cube across a locker room before an away game with the St. Michaels Majors.

"The ice shard caused a traumatic cataract, ruptured the lens and damaged his iris sphincter," the claim says. The document says Mitsou had to have his lens replaced with a prosthetic and now the eye is sensitive to light because its iris can't close.

The statement of claim alleges the 67's hockey club should have better supervised players -- a claim Pierre Mitsou's father George, who is also a plaintiff and claiming $100,000 in damages, agrees with.

"These are little boys on the team. They're big like men, but they have an exuberance for the game," he said, adding that horseplay before a game is common. "What happened was an accident, but unfortunately the team has to be responsible."

He said his son, known as a hard hitter, suffered excruciating pain and was out of hockey for about two months. He said his son also had to quit school because he couldn't see to read. The statement of claim alleges Pierre Mitsou has permanently lost income and earning capacity.

George Mitsou said the suit was filed as part of an insurance claim and said he and Pierre hold no ill feelings toward the team or Chapman.

Team owner Jeff Hunt was equally collegial last night saying, "There's no hard feelings from our organization toward Pierre and his family. He was a great player when we had him on our team."

Hunt said he knew of the claim but hadn't been aware it had "escalated to this."

"This may be a procedural thing when you're negotiating with an insurance company with a claim," Hunt said. "Obviously, it's come to that and they haven't received a satisfactory claim through their insurance."

George Mitsou said he expects a settlement will be reached soon. His son is studying at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. and playing on the university's hockey team.

No comments: