While fighting may be entertaining for some hockey fans, its effects may have led to concussions and a civil lawsuit against the National Hockey League. Seventy former players are suing the NHL for knowingly withholding information about the long-term effects posed by concussions.
Arguments were presented in February in the U.S. District Court whose its ruling is expected at any time. This lawsuit follows a case against the NFL which is pending court approval of settlement that may cost the football league approximately $1 billion.
The NHL lawsuit commenced 15 months ago with 10 players. It gained attention when retired 35-year-old NHL-player Steve Montador died two weeks ago.
Montador played for 10 seasons for six teams and retired from hockey after suffering a concussion on March 27, 2012. He had concussions over the course of his career and admitted that he combatted depression in 2013. Montador left his brain with researchers to determine whether he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease caused from repetitive blows to the head.
Several notable NHL players had CTE. These included Bob Probert, Reggie Fleming and Derek Boogaard who died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers in 2011.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Gary Leeman claims memory loss, dizziness, headaches and other problems related to repeated head trauma. He argued that the NHL knew for a long time that concussions and repeated hits to the head would cause long-term effects on players.
The NHL argued that it took all precautions for its players and that the statute of limitations has passed for most of their complaints. The plaintiffs’ co-lead attorney said that the players hope to hold the NHL accountable for misconduct so they can receive the medical care and support they need.
Victims of a brain injury caused by another person’s negligence should make sure that they protect their right to compensation for their injuries.
Source: Reuters, “NHL concussion lawsuit following a path blazed by the NFL,” Steve Ginsburg, March 2, 2015