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. Weiss (groin) heading back to Detroit, unable to play for Grand Rapids

    Oct 30, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    If you’re curious what a buyout would cost the Wings, click on the post.

  2. Kings will have full complement of players tonight vs. Pens

    Oct 30, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three Getty Images

    After playing a man short on Tuesday in Philly.

  3. Fasth ready to return, Gazdic starts conditioning stint

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

    Viktor Fasth Getty Images

    Some good news for Edmonton on the injury front.

  4. Stars’ other big summer addition – Hemsky – off to ugly start

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Ales Hemsky Getty Images

    If he could get going, Dallas wouldn’t be as reliant on its top line.

  5. PHT Morning Skate: Fighting majors way down this season

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:01 AM EDT

    Eric Staal, Nick Bonino AP

    The numbers are even more striking when you compare Oct. 2014 to Oct. 2003

  6. Smith, Predators halt Oilers’ winning streak

    Oct 30, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT

    Craig Smith, Filip Forsberg AP

    Nashville continues its strong start to 2014-15.

  7. Red Wings’ Weiss still dealing with groin injury

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    He sat out the third period for Grand Rapids because of soreness.

  8. Video: Will dirty hits continue to go down?

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT

    John Moore AP

    Interesting discussion between Bob McKenzie and Mike Milbury.

  9. NHL explains why officials waved off Predators’ goal

    Oct 29, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT

    waveoff

    Some controversial calls on a light Wednesday night.

  10. Video: McKenzie’s Alfredsson update isn’t promising

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    “No news is bad news” for the veteran forward.

  11. Video: Doc Emrick’s heartfelt words about Gordie Howe

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Also: a fun story from Mike Milbury’s playing days.

  12. McKenzie: Hockey community rallies around Howe

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Frank Lennon Toronto Star Photos Getty Images

    It appears that the health of “Mr. Hockey” has been improving.

  13. Video: Ovechkin talks Olympic disappointment, Caps changes

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    He hopes to end his scoring slump against Detroit tonight.

Featured video

Illegal hits are down -- but will it last?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Staal (3254)
  2. C. Crawford (3088)
  3. P. Stastny (2436)
  4. M. Gaborik (2435)
  5. E. Kane (2335)
  1. A. Kopitar (2184)
  2. V. Hedman (2093)
  3. D. Heatley (2023)
  4. J. Franzen (1898)
  5. N. Foligno (1872)