10 former NHL players are suing the league for negligence and fraud. The players filed their suit in federal court in Washington. One of the lawyers is Mel Owens, a former NFL player who has represented scores of other retired players in workers’ compensation cases.
The hockey players include players like Rick Vaive and Darren Banks. The players say they have sustained repeated hits to the head during their careers and now suffer from depression, headaches and memory loss.
Three months ago, the NHL agreed to a $765 million settlement to appease lawsuits brought by more than 4,000 retired players who said the league knew about the dangers of repeated head hit but failed to properly warn the players.
The compensation and punitive damages is unspecified, but the players said that the NHL knew or should have been aware of the effects of head hits but took no remedial action to prevent its players from unnecessary harm until 1997. In 1997, the league created a program to research and study brain injuries. Even then, the league took no action to reduce the number and severity of concussions among its players during that period and Plaintiffs relied on the NHL’s silence to their detriment.
According to Owens, the NHL continues to encourage players to engage in physical contact with the other team, which has been proven to cause the most concussions in the NHL.
To read more about this story, visit the NYTimes website.
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