Several thousand current and ex-NFL players are suing the league over what they claim is the permanent brain damage they suffered while playing. Now the family of a deceased NHL player has filed a similar lawsuit against the hockey league, according to The New York Times.
New York Rangers Derek Boogaard’s family filed the wrongful death action against the NHL over his death a year ago. The 55-page lawsuit lawsuit charges that the league is liable not only for the brain injuries that Boogaard suffered as a hockey enforcer, but also for his addiction to painkillers, The Times reported Monday.
Boogaard, at age 28, died of an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. Tests on his brain determined that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative disease that’s been linked to blows to the head. A number of NFL players have posthumously been diagnosed with CTE, whose symptoms of mood swings, memory loss and depressions are similar to dementia.
The suit was filed Friday in the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, The Times reported. That firm also represented the family of Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in 2011 and had CTE.
The Duerson suit has been consolidated with anti-concussion actions brought by roughly 4,200 NFL players.
Apparently Boogaard’s famliy filed a lawsuit against the NHL players’ union last September, and it was dismissed, according to The Times.
The new lawsuit says that Boogaard engaged in at least 66 fights during his pro career, and was provided with painkillers and sleeping pills by NHL doctors and trainers so he could soldier through his injuries, The Times reported.
The NHL, the suit alleges, should have known that so-called “enforcers/fighters” such as Boogaard were at a greater rick for concussions and drug addiction, The Times reported.