Former Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich allegedly assaulted a player in May 2010. | Sun-Times file photo
In new court documents filed Thursday, a Georgia psychologist describes the “emotional distress” the player suffered as a result of the alleged assault.
The former Blackhawks player allegedly assaulted by former video coach Bradley Aldrich suffered anxiety, depression, severe sleep and anger problems, sexual dysfunction and marital problems resulting in divorce as a result of the assault, new court documents claim.
The player, identified anonymously as “John Doe 1,” is suing the Hawks for negligence in the matter, alleging they covered up Aldrich’s actions after the May 2010 assault.
New responses filed Thursday by Susan Loggans — the lawyer representing both Doe 1 and “John Doe 2,” a Michigan high school student whom Aldrich assaulted in 2013 — include an affidavit from Julie Medlin, a Georgia-based psychologist who evaluated Doe 1 in late 2020. The responses are the latest in a long series of motions and amendments by the Hawks and Loggans in both lawsuits.
Doe 1’s hockey career entered a “downward spiral” ending in an “emotional breakdown” while playing in Austria after the assault, Medlin said. Her evaluation revealed the aforementioned “emotional distress” symptoms.
On the night of the assault, Aldrich allegedly threatened Doe 1 physically with a baseball bat and rhetorically with claims he would ruin his hockey career before sexually touching and ejaculating on him, per earlier court documents.
The Hawks have motioned to dismiss Doe 1’s lawsuit, claiming the two-year statute of limitations should have expired long ago for a May 2010 event, since Doe 1 was an adult fully aware of the incident at the time.
In the new response, Doe 1 claims that awareness the incident was wrongful is also required to start to the statute of limitations, and since former Hawks skills coach James Gary allegedly convinced him at the time the assault was his own fault, he didn’t gain that awareness until learning in 2019 about Aldrich’s assault of the Michigan student.
Cup day equivalent to recommendation?
A new response also filed Thursday in the Doe 2 case, meanwhile, claims the Hawks letting Aldrich enjoy a day with the Stanley Cup in summer 2010 in Houghton, Michigan, was equivalent to a recommendation.
The issue of whether or not the Hawks recommended Aldrich to Houghton High School, where he was a volunteer hockey coach when he assaulted Doe 2 in 2013, has been central to the legitimacy of the Doe 2 lawsuit.
“Most definitely, there was communication between the Blackhawks and Houghton,” Loggans wrote in a letter to Hawks lawyers attached to the court filings. “At the very least, there was non-verbal communication. The Blackhawks gave Mr. Aldrich the actual Stanley Cup to take to Houghton to show it off. The Cup was inscribed with Mr. Aldrich’s name. Standing alone, this communication vouches for Mr. Aldrich’s suitability as a coach.”
All employees of the Cup-winning team traditionally receive one day with the Cup. Aldrich, however, did not receive his Cup day until September 2010, after he’d left the Hawks.
Loggans’ letter responds to a letter from Hawks lawyers, also attached to the filings, in which the Hawks threatened to pursue court sanctions to get “reimbursement of legal fees…incurred defending” the Hawks against the “demonstrably false” claim of a recommendation.
The original version of the Doe 2 lawsuit claimed the Hawks ”provided positive references to future employers for Bradley Aldrich. An amended version of the lawsuit was less specific in that realm, claiming only the Hawks provided a ”positive review and/or employment verification of Aldrich to Houghton.”
The Hawks strongly pushed back against those claims in their most recent motion to dismiss. Indeed, no evidence has surfaced yet of the Hawks sending any reference letter to Miami (Ohio) University — where Aldrich worked in 2012 — or Houghton High, but the lawsuit has not yet advanced to the discovery phase, when such a letter could surface.