Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Class action lawsuit over head trauma filed against the NHL by former players

I'm going to leave the opinionating out of this post due to time constraints and a need to better digest what popped right at the beginning of tonight's CBJ-Toronto game, but here's the skinny:  10 former NHL players have filed a class action lawsuit against the NHL in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.  They apparently allege the following:
The 47-page complaint is linked here in PDF form.

NHL superagent Allan Walsh, an attorney in his own right with trial experience, had this to say about the case:

Remember, of course, that the National Football League settled their "concussion lawsuit" out of court in August for $765 million rather than allow for discovery to take place and a trial to go forward.  It surely was only a matter of time before the hockey version of that suit came to pass...and it appears that today was the day.

Here's the Puck Daddy article on the suit.  Wyshynski links the attorney's media release on the suit, of which I found this passage most provocative:
In 2004 the NHL introduced a series of updates to the rule-set to encourage a faster, more exciting, and ultimately more marketable product. As a result, the number of violent in-game collisions and occurrence of head trauma have increased. When coupled with the NHL’s refusal to protect players by banning full-body checking or penalizing on-ice fist fights, the league has created a dangerous atmosphere for players.
Here's the Sports Illustrated article.

Here's NBC's Pro Hockey Talk's post, as well as a follow-up post with the NHL's initial response.

Let's call it for now, for there is plenty to discuss about this in the days ahead.

At this point, I encourage everyone reading this post to study up on both sides of the issues - for, love it or leave it, this suit will be of critical importance to the National Hockey League, its players and its fans over the days ahead.

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