‘Indescribable emotional trauma and private upheaval’ Lawsuit seeks $eight million from Cody Ceci and others following freak accident


Hana Engel, the Ottawa girl who was burned and left completely scarred in a freak accident in Could 2018 whereas at a cocktail party hosted by Cody Ceci, is now suing the previous Ottawa Senator in a lawsuit looking for greater than $eight million in damages.

The assertion of declare, filed July 23, describes the wild few seconds on the evening of Could 9, 2018 when Ceci’s frequent regulation companion Jamie Thompson, who is called as a co-defendant within the go well with, by chance ignited Engel with flaming liquid ethanol burner gas and she or he was “instantly engulfed in flames.”

Thompson was attempting to refill one among three burners on an outside tabletop hearth round 9 p.m. that evening with Engel and different friends seated across the desk in Ceci’s again yard in Stittsville.

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In keeping with the lawsuit, “with out checking to find out if the burner had cooled and/or utterly extinguished,” Thompson squirted the ethanol into the burner, inflicting “flames and ethanol to jet out of the bottle,” which was nonetheless in her palms when she “instantly threw the burning bottle in Hana’s route.

“Hana’s clothes caught fireplace and she or he was instantly engulfed in flames.”

Engel, now 25, and her companion, Jake Cardwell, a teammate of Ceci from their days with the Ottawa 67’s, spoke to this newspaper within the weeks following the accident as Engel continued her restoration after three weeks in a medically-induced coma and 18 hours of surgical procedures and pores and skin grafts over three separate operations, an ordeal which can be detailed within the lawsuit.


Jake Cardwell and Hana Engel.

Photograph provided /

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No assertion of defence has been filed from the defendants, which embody Ceci and Thompson, in addition to Clair de Lune Merchandise, Inc., the producer of the tabletop ethanol hearth and its subsidiary Les Distributions Orca Lite Inc., which distributed and offered the ethanol biofuel marketed to be used in its tabletop fireplaces.

In keeping with the lawsuit, Clair de Lune stopped promoting the tabletop ethanol hearth following the incident.

Engel is looking for $500,000 for “ache and struggling, lack of facilities and lack of enjoyment of life,” a further $300,000 damages “for lack of housekeeping and homemaking capability,” and $6 million for “lack of earnings, lack of aggressive benefit within the market, and lack of financial alternatives.”

Cardwell “watched in helpless horror,” based on the go well with, as he tried to douse the flames with assist from neighbours and different friends.


Ottawa Senator Cody Ceci and his girlfriend, Jamie Thompson.

Ashley Fraser /

Postmedia

Cardwell can be a plaintiff looking for $200,000 in damages for “lack of care, steering and companionship” and $500,000 for the worth of “nursing, attendant care and different providers … together with lack of earnings.”

The incident and its aftermath compelled Cardwell to take a go away of absence from his hockey profession in Europe to look after Engel.

He’s additionally looking for $200,000 on the whole damages for “nervous shock” and “intentional infliction of psychological struggling and emotional misery.”

Engel’s dad and mom, Bruce and Bonnie Engel, are additionally listed as plaintiffs looking for damages for nursing, attendant care and different providers totalling $700,000, whereas her siblings Matthew and Sabrina Engel are looking for $200,000 on the same declare.

Bruce Engel is a outstanding legal defence lawyer in Ottawa with Engel & Associates, although Hana Engel is represented within the private damage lawsuit by Howard Yegendorf & Associates.

The civil go well with alleges no criminality and no expenses have been laid associated to the incident. The allegations contained within the go well with haven’t been examined in court docket.

In keeping with the assertion of declare, Hana Engel on the time of the incident was a gifted and bold yoga fanatic and businesswoman who owned and operated her personal yoga studio in Ottawa, had many mates, “and appeared ahead to a vibrant future forward with Jake.”

The lawsuit describes a “bodily energetic younger girl who loved yoga, swimming, biking, dancing, travelling, strolling her canine and different actions.”

She took a “eager curiosity” in trend, magnificence, cosmetics, hair and private styling.

“Her accidents and her ensuing adjustments to her look have prevented her, and can stop her from participating in all of those actions and pursuits,” the lawsuit claims.


Hana Engel earlier than she suffered second and third diploma burns to 35 per cent of her physique.

Handout /

Postmedia

The burns and scars she suffered, with second- and third-degree burns masking 35 per cent of her physique, from head to toe as detailed within the go well with, left her with “intensive, painful and everlasting scars” and consequently “a number of impairments, signs and lowered functioning.”

“Hana has undergone indescribable emotional trauma and private upheaval” because of the incident, her accidents, scars and impairments, which embody emotional misery and post-traumatic stress inflicted “by the incident itself (and) by the whole and everlasting change to Hana’s look.”

Her ongoing rehabilitation consists of physiotherapy, therapeutic massage remedy, day by day stretches and private coaching remedy, an in depth routine of painkillers, moisturizers and different medicines, laser therapies and psychotherapy.

“Hana’s intensive medical, physiotherapy, psychotherapy and different rehabilitative remedy will proceed for the remainder of her life,” the go well with claims, whereas noting future therapies will incur “intensive well being care prices.”

Following the incident, Engel was unable to return to her yoga enterprise and “for the current and foreseeable future” her focus will stay on her bodily and emotional restoration, the go well with claims.

“It’s unknown when Hana will be capable to return to paid employment actions,” based on the declare, and her accidents “stay limitations to a profitable re-integration into the workforce.”

The lawsuit claims these prices and future prices from the defendants, and alleges the accident “was triggered totally by the person or mixed negligence of the defendants …”

The lawsuit outlines that alleged legal responsibility, claiming Thompson didn’t know methods to correctly function the fireside, ignored warning labels on the bottle, didn’t take security precautions and “knew or must have identified that the fireside and ethanol have been critical and acknowledged hazards.”

It claims Ceci “failed to tell himself and Thompson of the hazards,” didn’t warn the invited friends and “didn’t maintain his premises protected.”

It claims each Thompson and Ceci have been “intoxicated and unable to understand the hazard … and ought to not have used harmful or ignitable objects reminiscent of the fireside.”

It additionally alleges negligence on the a part of the producer Clair de Lune and distributor Orca Lite in an in depth listing of claims over the design of the fireside, amongst different points, whereas claiming the warning label on the bottle of gas was “insufficient.”

ahelmer@postmedia.com

Twitter: @helmera

 


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