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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Maple Leafs Accused of Causing Baggage Mishap

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) - A Toronto Maple Leafs equipment manager under a deadline shifted a baggage conveyor belt on full blast causing an equipment crate to hit a baggage handler, the handler claims in court.

Kenneth Osborne sued Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in St. Clair County law court.

Osborne claims he was working for Jet Aviation at the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Ill., when the incident occurred on Jan. 17. 2015.

"It's a private jet so it's being loaded on the tarmac and from the ground up to the cargo load is a conveyor with a lever that controls the speed," Matthew R. Chapman, Osborne's attorney, told Courthouse News. "It was an equipment manager for the team that was on a deadline and didn't think our guys were going fast enough and he kept messing with the lever."

Airport employees told the unnamed equipment manager to not interfere with the lever, according to the lawsuit filed Jan. 8.

"A hockey team's supplies are packed up in large equipment crates," Chapman said in an interview. "With a private jet, you've got to position them just right, sort of like a Tetris game. They (Osborne and his supervisor) went up to the cargo hold to make some decisions about where the next load of crates would go and the equipment manager, according to my client, hit the lever full blast an sent more crates in."

An equipment crate hit Osborne, causing a shoulder injury. Chapman said Osborne's medical bills are around $100,000.

Osborne is seeking unspecified damages for negligence and willful and wanton conduct.

Media relations for the Maple Leafs told Courthouse News in an email that the team had no comment.

Chapman said the Maple Leafs organization probably isn't aware of the lawsuit yet since service to another country takes a little longer.

"I got a message today stating that the lawsuit has reached the Canadian national government and from there it needs to be served on the team," Chapman said.

"Luckily for us, since the province that issues is Ontario, the complaint did not need to be translated into French. That would have increased the cost of service."

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