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Ceci files statement of defense in lawsuit seeking close to $9 million in damages

august 23, 2019
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci and his common-law partner, Jamie Thompson, are denying any negligence in a lawsuit filed by a woman who was badly burned at Ceci's home in May of last year. In a statement of defense filed in the lawsuit, Ceci and Thompson alleges any loss or damage "were caused solely, or contributed to, by the negligence of the co-defendants, Clair De Lune Products Inc. and/or (distributor) Orca Lite." These two companies were the manufacturer and distributor of the outdoor tabletop fireplace involved in an accident at Ceci's house that left Hana Engel with serious burns. Ceci and Thompson also want Clair De Line and Orca Lite to pay their legal costs resulting from the suit.

Engel initially file the lawsuit in June of this year against Ceci, Thompson and the two previously mentioned companies alleging Thompson threw a burning bottle of ethanol in her direction as she tried to refill an ethanol burner on the fireplace. Engel says she's been permanently scarred by her injuries and alleges both Thompson and Ceci were intoxicated at the time and "unable to appreciate the danger.' The lawsuit also alleges the pair failed to take safety precautions. The 25-year-old alleges she was "immediately engulfed in flames"

Ceci's statement of defense disputes Engel’s version of the accident and claims she "failed to keep a proper lookout for her own safety" and "moved from a position of safety to a position of danger" during the incident.

In total the lawsuit seeks $8.6 million in damages. Engel is asking for more than $6 million, saying it left her in a three-week coma and required three surgeries. Engel's common-law partner, Ceci's former Ottawa 67's teammate Jacob Cardwell, is seeking $900,000 in damages for loss of care guidance and companionship, loss of income, emotional distress and for costs associated with caring for Engel. Her parents, Bruce and Bonnie Engel, and siblings Matthew and Sabrina Engel, are also seeking damages for similar reasons.

None of the allegations in either statement has been tested in court.

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