It looks like another legal headache for the NHL.
Documents provided to SI.com on Tuesday reveal a group of 29 players, including Stanley Cup winners Eddie Westfall and Butch Goring (above) of the Islanders, and Canucks legend Richard Brodeur, have filed a class action complaint in U.S. District Court in Minnesota alleging that the league failed to protect them against the risks of the repeated head trauma they sustained during their pro hockey careers.
There are no specific financial demands in the 124-page document, but it does note that “the overall amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000.00, exclusive of costs, interest and attorneys’ fees.”
According to the complaint, the NHL “either took no steps to protect and educate its players or took insufficient steps to make players aware of the real risks of playing in the NHL, which would have protected players from unnecessary long-term effects of head trauma.”
As a result, the complaint claims, the players are suffering from a variety of post-concussion symptoms, including headaches, memory loss and sleep problems, and are at an increased risk of “developing serious latent neurodegenerative disorders and diseases including, but not limited to, CTE, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or similar cognitive-impairing conditions.”
The NHL responded to a previous class action concussion lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss the suit, with one brief for dismissal arguing labor preemption grounds and another citing the statute of limitations.
The league has not yet commented on the latest suit.
Players named in the suit on Monday include Greg Adams, Rick Berry, Shawn Chambers, Todd Elik, Mark Hardy, Mike, Todd Harvey, Tony Horacek, Garry Howatt, Dave Hutchinson, Jean Francois Jomphe, Dean Kennedy, Mike Lalor, Darren Langdon, Manny Legace, Jamie Lundmark, Sergio Momesso, Jeff Parker, Steve Patrick, Craig Redmond, Terry Ruskowski, Brian Savage, Jeff Shevalier, Turner Stevenson, German Titov and Todd Warriner.