A U.S. District Court ruled that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman can be deposed to give testimony in a class-action concussion lawsuit, reports the Associated Press.
Judge Susan Nelson wrote in an eight-page ruling that Bettman possessed “unique or special knowledge relevant to this lawsuit."
"Commissioner Bettman may be deposed in July 2015, but no earlier," Nelson wrote, according to documents obtained by TSN. "This should cause no hardship to plaintiffs, who will have an opportunity to first depose other witnesses. In addition, both parties will have the benefit of the production of relevant discovery from commissioner Bettman prior to his deposition."
More than 60 former NHL players sued the league claiming they did not do enough to protect them from head injuries, failed to properly warn players of risks of brain trauma, and consistently promoted violent play.
The players also say that the league had been blocking access to Bettman for his testimony in the case.
The NHL wanted the lawsuit tossed out, but that motion was denied. The former players seek unspecified damages and medical monitoring for neurological disorders. The lawsuit covers approximately 5,000 living former players, including Dave Christian, Dan LaCouture, Mikel Peluso, Gary Leeman and Bernie Nicholls.
Another group of former players filed a class action lawsuit in February also claiming the league did nothing to protect them from their brain injuries.
- Scooby Axson