(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power)

Kelowna hockey player sues city, opponent, league, after suffering broken ankle

Ryan Bachmeier alleges Greg Hopf injured him while playing in a ‘careless, reckless and negligent manner’

A local adult league hockey player is suing a former opponent, league brass and even the City of Kelowna in relation to injuries he sustained while on the ice in 2018.

Ryan Bachmeier, a Kelowna physiotherapist, filed a notice of civil claim in Kelowna court on April 22, alleging Greg Hopf injured him while playing in a ‘careless, reckless and negligent manner’, during a ‘no contact’ Pacific Adult Hockey League game on October 16, 2018.

“During the game, the plaintiff was in the defensive corner without the puck when the defendant Hopf violently and negligently charged at the plaintiff and attacked the plaintiff from behind, pulling him backwards with the defendant Hopf landing on top of him, while repeatedly striking him in the face as he was still laying on the ice, causing injuries, loss and damage,” claimed Bachmeier in the suit.

Bachmeier claimed he suffered a dislocated and fractured right ankle, as well as torn ligaments among other injuries. The suit contests this suffering has followed him since the incident, causing pain, discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent physical disability and loss of earnings, both past and prospective.

According to the suit, the league itself is also at fault, naming league co-ordinator Larry Lenarduzzi. He is accused of letting Hopf continue to play even though he ‘knew or ought to have known that he played hockey in a careless, reckless and negligent manner’.

The suit also mentioned Hopf’s penalty minutes, stating Lenarduzzi failed to assess the penalties from season to season. Bachmeier claimed this as evidence of both the league’s negligence and Hopf’s propensity to play hockey in a violent manner.

The City of Kelowna is accused of failing to manage the Pacific Adult Hockey League when it knew or ought to have known rules and the code of conduct was not being enforced.

Bachmeier is seeking damages related to his health care costs and loss of income, as well as punitive and aggravated damages.

None of the claims have been proven in court and none of the defendants have responded to the notice of claim. Parties have 21 days to submit a response.

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