Skip to content

Bryan Berard seeks $18M from insurance company regarding eye injury

Jul 12, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

Men's USA Hockey Practice Getty Images

Former NHL defenseman Bryan Berard isn’t playing professional hockey any more, yet he’s been in some pretty heated legal disputes lately. He already made news by helping to expose con men in 2013 and now it appears that he’ll be involved in some legal wrangling involving insurance money from his playing days. He’s seeking $18 million overall, according to the New York Post.

While playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000, then-Ottawa Senators forward Marian Hossa caught him in the right eye with a high stick. That unfortunate incident left Berard with a detached retina and retinal tear, requiring him to undergo seven operations on his right eye. Berard received a $6.3 million settlement in 2001 related to that injury, but returned it to resume his NHL career … and that’s where the details get a little cloudy.

The New York Daily News breaks down the discrepancy between the two sides:

The insurance company claimed in the complaint that once Berard returned to hockey following the injury in which he was clipped in the right eye with a stick while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game in Ottawa, eventually losing the sight in his eye, he signed a waiver agreeing to repay the money, and was barred from ever attempting to recoup it.

Berard, the NHL’s top draft choice in 1995, disagrees, and has accused the insurance company of fraud, according to the lawsuit.

But according to Berard, his $6 million personal policy with Standard Security did not originally include language requiring him to repay the insurance money should he return to play, and was inserted in the policy after the company realized that the language was included in two additional policies issued by the NHL and the NHL Players Association by the same company. Berard acknowledges he signed the waivers but says he was not represented by counsel and was not fully informed of what he was signing.

Berard, 37, believes his insurance company “slipped” the waiver in. Berard says that his lawyer clued him into the possibility that he didn’t need to return that $6.3 million payout while discussing a separate case in 2013, according to the New York Daily News.

The Ottawa Senators selected Berard first overall back in 1995. He won the 1997 Calder Trophy and managed to play in parts of six seasons after that injury, winning the 2004 Masterton Trophy in the process.

While he managed to play in the NHL following that injury, Berard told the New York Post that he has “no vision in his right eye.”

(H/T to Puck Daddy.)

Latest Posts
  1. Ducks invite Yip to training camp for tryout

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:48 PM EDT

    Brandon Yip, Derek Forbort AP

    Brendan Bell also gets a chance to impress.

  2. Blue Jackets say Horton may miss start of 2014-15 season

    Sep 17, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    His back issues present another headache for Columbus.

  3. Report: Canucks invite Wyman to camp

    Sep 17, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    He has 44 games of NHL experience under his belt.

  4. Wild hand Bryzgalov a training camp tryout

    Sep 17, 2014, 6:39 PM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov AP

    Insert your “humongous big” jokes here.

  5. Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier

    Sep 17, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    His agent says it’s best to leave town and avoiding being a distraction.

  6. Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler Getty Images

    “No matter how much my old teammates say it doesn’t bother them, it affects them. It does in that city.”

  7. In making case, Johansen’s agent stresses importance of top centers

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    And on the possibility of his client signing an offer sheet? “Well, we’ll have to see.”

  8. Sharks re-sign Braun to five-year, $19 million deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Justin Braun Getty Images

    “Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen.”

  9. Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    “We’ve been told if we don’t give them what they want, they’ll be leaving town.”

  10. Sens angry with Methot’s agent for leaking ‘false’ contract details

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    MarcMethot Getty Images

    “I’ve been with the team for eight years, and I don’t know if I’ve been more disappointed about anything that’s been written,” said Pierre Dorion.

  11. Hiller: Final months with Ducks were ‘frustrating’

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    “I actually thought I had a great year up to the Olympic break and even after.”

  12. Agent: Staal, Rangers making progress towards contract extension

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Jussi Jokinen, Marc Staal AP

    “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it.”

  13. Report: Ryan turned down Sens’ seven-year, $49M offer

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 1: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 1, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Yet he says his contract status won’t be an issue this season.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1430)
  2. J. Quick (1378)
  3. S. Bennett (1353)
  4. J. Harding (1287)
  5. P. Rinne (1269)