City of Edmonton denies negligence in Tim Hague death, asks court to dismiss claim

The City of Edmonton and other defendants in the Tim Hague boxing death lawsuit have denied any negligence and requested the claim to be dismissed in a statement of defence filed in July.

The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) acknowledges it was responsible for managing the Shaw Conference Centre at the time of the fight, but denied every allegation in the statement of claim, filed on behalf of Hague’s family on June 7.

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In a statement of defence filed July 22, the EEDC said it wasn’t involved in collecting medical documentation for Hague nor was it involved in any investigations or conclusions regarding his fitness to participate in combative sports or in allowing him to fight Adam Braidwood in that June 2017 match.

The document claims Hague assumed all risk of injury or death when he agreed to fight Braidwood and went through with the match. Scroll down to read the full statement of defence.

He “willingly, with full knowledge of his medical state and fitness, including his prior injuries, and with full knowledge of the risks, but without any involvement of EEDC, elected to enter into and proceed with the Braidwood fight thereby accepting or assuming all risks associated with it.

“EEDC states that the deceased’s actions were the sole cause of his death and that he was negligent, or willfully blind,” the statement of defence reads.

The EEDC denies any failure to have appropriate medical equipment in place. The city organization also denies that it had any obligation to arrange for medical staff or ambulances at the event.

Watch below (Dec. 14, 2017): An independent report looking into the June death of Tim Hague after a fighting event in Edmonton has found some rules weren’t followed. Vinesh Pratap reports.

The statement of defence says if the plaintiffs (Hague’s estate) suffered any of the alleged losses or damages — which the EEDC denies — they “were caused solely by the negligence, or willful actions of the deceased,” including fighting when Hague “knew or ought to have known that he was not medically cleared or fit to fight,” competing in the match “when he may have been or should have been medically suspended by another jurisdiction,” ignoring medical advice warning him to avoid combative sports and “falsifying any statutory declaration of his fitness” in order to participate in a fight.

In closing, the EEDC denies the family’s claim that it is entitled to punitive damages. The lawsuit explains the Hague family was seeking damages in the amount of $4.27 million.

The city, the EEDC, the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission, K.O. Boxing, as well as a number of individual people, are named as defendants in the Hague family’s lawsuit.

It alleges the defendants allowed Hague to take part in “combative sports events when they knew or ought to have known that he should have been suspended.”

The document alleges the fight should have been stopped when it was clear Hague was “no longer in a position to adequately protect himself” and that there was a failure to “properly and reasonably evaluate and inquire” with Hague about whether he was able to keep fighting.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

In December 2017, a third-party report looking into the death of the fighter, who was also a father and a teacher, made 18 recommendations, including that a provincial commission be created to oversee combative sports in Alberta.

That same month, Edmonton City Council put a moratorium on combative sports in place that was eventually lifted in February 2018.

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