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Former NHL players sue league over lack of brain injury notice


According to the Los Angeles Times, the National Hockey League is being sued by NHL players who contend the NHL didn't notify them about the dangerous effects of multiple head injuries. Those associated with the sport know ice hockey is known for its on-ice fights and testosterone-filled intensity. Despite the skepticism expressed over the lawsuit, multiple brain injury is definitely a serious matter.

As Connecticut residents know, the National Football League has settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with 4,500 former players regarding unsafe practices that lead to concussions and brain damage. Now, it is the NHL's turn. Surprisingly, the class-action lawsuit filed by 200 former professional hockey players, whose identities were not disclosed, was met with skepticism. A television analyst and former hockey coach described the lawsuit as an attempt by players to obtain money.

The players' attorney rebuffed such allegations, asserting the league knew of the possible consequences but did little to address them. He added that it was the league's duty to inform players of the risks and provide help during recovery. Whether the NHL will take a page from the NFL playbook and fork out millions of dollars to settle the lawsuit remains to be seen.

What is definite though is that players with legitimate brain injury have a very difficult road to recovery. As the symptoms progress, a victim's everyday life changes greatly. Everyday tasks can become very difficult. Employment may also be out of the question, compromising the victim's income and, eventually, his or her family needs. Medication and treatment costs must also be considered. Any New Haven, Connecticut, victims of head injury may need to emulate the actions of NHL players and file a legal action, especially if the injury was caused by another person's negligence.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Backlash is startling after NHL is sued over repetitive brain injuries," Helene Elliott, Dec. 2, 2013

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