In the last couple of years, we have heard a lot about traumatic brain injuries and football, especially with the class action lawsuit filed by retired football players against the NFL.
However, there is another lawsuit filed by retired professional players against a sports league that has not been talked about very much. More than a year ago, 10 former NHL players sued the NHL for ignoring the growing evidence surrounding the long-term effects of concussions. The retired NHL players’ allegations are similar to the allegations against the NFL.
However, in recent months, the NHL players’ concussion related lawsuit is back in the limelight. In February of this year, 29 players also joined the class action, bringing the number of plaintiffs to past 70. Then in the same month, a retired NHL player, Steve Montador, who had a history of concussions was found dead in his home at the age of 35.
Montador’s hockey career was ended by concussions. In his final years, he struggled with depression. His brain was donated to scientists to see if he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive hits to the head.
CTE can only be diagnosed after the person dies, and CTE has been found in many deceased NFL players as well as NHL players. In 2011, other deceased NHL players were also found to have CTE. Bob Probert died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription painkillers at age 28, and Wade Belak and Rick Rypien died from apparent suicides at the age of 35 and 27 respectively.
According to lawyers for the hockey players, more than 200 former players have now retained counsel to be included in the case, and roughly 500 more have expressed interest and support.
Though concussions and head injuries seem more common in contact sports such as football and hockey, they can happen in all types of sports. Soccer players may run into each other head-on and suffer concussions. A basketball player may get hit while jumping in the air to take a shot and land on his head. Coaches and sports organizations must protect their players. When these players suffer concussions, it is crucial that they are properly, medically evaluated before letting them back into the game.
Related: Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms – A Philadelphia, PA sports injury lawyer talks about symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
Players may want to be tough and tell their coaches they can go back in the game when they have concussions. If coaches ignore the signs of concussion and put players back in the game, they may be liable when players sustain permanent brain injuries after second impacts.
If you have questions about a loved one’s traumatic brain injury or sports related injury, call Daniel. J. O’Brien, Esq. to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396