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NHL hit with another concussion lawsuit

Jul 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

bettmangetty Getty Images

Former Bruins d-man Jon Rohloff is the latest to file a concussion lawsuit against the NHL, per the New York Times.


Rohloff, a defenseman for the Boston Bruins from 1994 to 1997, is the lone named plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in United States District Court in Minnesota. The suit says that the league concealed the dangers of concussion and did not pass rules designed to reduce the risk of brain injury until recent seasons. N.H.L. representatives did not respond to a request for comment late Tuesday afternoon.

After a similar suit was filed in April, Bill Daly, the deputy commissioner, said, “We are completely satisfied with our record on player safety, including as it relates to head injuries and brain trauma.”

This is the fourth concussion-related suit the NHL’s been hit with. The first came in November of 2013, when a group of 10 ex-players filed in a federal court in Washington. The second was filed in April — one that included former NHLers Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer and Mike Peluso, but one that also lost credibility by claiming NHL legend Gordie Howe died in 2009 from a neurodegenerative disease called Pick’s disease.

(Howe is still alive. It was his wife, Colleen, who died of the disease.)

The third suit was also filed in April, in Minneapolis, by retired players Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    These suits are just ridiculous

    • blomfeld - Jul 31, 2014 at 12:48 AM


  2. lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    While nobody deserves to be, and should not be, injured while at work and steps should be taken to prevent injuries at all costs, such as concussions, and at least the NHL has finally taken steps to deal with the issue, I’m starting to disagree with these lawsuits. Because when players play in the NHL (same could be said for all sports and all industries) the players should be aware of the risks of playing such sports. And if they don’t, then they’re either ignorant to that fact, or just chose to ignore that fact. That’s like saying firefighters suing the fire department, because while they were trying to put out a massive fire, they suffered body burns to over half their bodies – shouldn’t you know and be aware of what COULD happen before you start working at that job; same thought process applies to pro sports athletes

    • sanfranbruinsfan - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      What if the fire department gave the firefighters inadequate gear to protect them from the risk of fire or failed to train them appropriately? That would certainly be the fire department’s fault that went beyond the inherent risk of the job. I think the hockey players are saying the same thing.

    • missthemexpos - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      What if the fireman had to go toe to toe with someone in the burning house until one of them knocks out the other? Is that the fault of the fire department?

  3. montrealknowledge - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    If they really had a case… They’d forget they had a case.

  4. montrealknowledge - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    If they really had a case.. They’d forget they had a case.

  5. 34defense2014 - Jul 31, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    I can see both sides of thise argument! Not sure which side of the fence I am on with this issue?

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jul 31, 2014 at 6:52 AM

      “not sure which side of the fence I am on with this issue?”

      You must be an Obama supporter

  6. phtjoey - Jul 31, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    lakeshoreleafsfan, the issue at stake is not whether or not the players knew or didn’t know the risks. It’s about what the NHL (teams, doctors, owners etc…) did or didn’t do to ensure a player who was or may have been concussed wasn’t exposed to further brain trauma by being sent out back on the ice before the brain had time to heal. (the brain is more vulnerable to trauma immediately or shortly after suffering trauma). The NHL’s concussion protocol was implemented in 2011. Why not sooner? Did the NHL know enough about concussions that would allow them to take a more proactive approach much before 2011? Did the owners prevent such a protocol from being implemented because they didn’t want their star players sidelined?

    • nyrnashty - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Go play Tennis!

      • phtjoey - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Is that what you did instead of watching hockey during the Sochi olympics?

  7. youngs79 - Jul 31, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    It is only going to get worse going forward for the NHL. That’s why I’m surprised they haven’t put a stop to fighting. Allowing any fight is a concussion waiting to happen.

    • nyrnashty - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Studies suggest it’s the hits, not the fights.

      • phtjoey - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Any type of blow to the head be it from an elbow, shoulder or punch have a propensity to cause brain trauma. Don’t sugar coat it.

        1/31/2013 Bruins Shawn Thornton Suffers Concussion In Fight With Buffalo’s John Scott, Will Miss 7-10 Days

        12/16/2013 Montreal Canadiens tough guy George Parros has sustained a concussion. Parros was stunned by a pair of late punches in a fight with Eric Boulton

        11/1/2013 After the game, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced Downie had suffered a concussion in the fight. Volpatti caught Downie with a vicious left cleanly in the face. Shortly after, the Flyers’ pugilist got his fellow combatant’s attention and the linesmen stepped in to stop the fight. Downie did not return to the game.

        And there are more examples……

  8. nyrnashty - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    I should file a concussion lawsuit against USA Hockey since I was the subject of a few concussions over the years lol. The players who do this are just bums looking to get an extra few bucks because they’re not skilled enough to get a job in the real world and their hockey money has run out.

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