The old joke about attending a fight where a hockey game breaks out is a clear reference to how physically punishing these games are. For some players, it turns out the impact is permanently debilitating.
There have been at least two significant lawsuits brought against the National Hockey League as a result of traumatic brain injuries suffered by players.
Prime Examples of Life-Changing Injuries
Several lawsuits have been filed as a result of the traumatic brain injuries suffered by former hockey players, including one brought by Mike Peluso of the New Jersey Devils, and another by Bernie Nicholls of the Los Angeles Kings. They were relatively lucky, even so: Steve Montador of the Chicago Blackhawks passed away at the age of 35 because of game-induced head trauma – chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Mike Peluso’s Lawsuit
Mr. Peluso suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries during the nine years he spent professionally playing hockey. Having already spent $100,000 on his medical care, he anticipates needing over $10,000,000 more for future care. He has no ability to earn an income and is permanently disabled because of his condition. His lawsuit alleges that the teams he played for failed to properly care for him or alert him to the potential risks he faced each and every time he took another hit.
Mr. Nicholls shares a similar story.
While hockey spectators may enjoy the games and hockey organizations find them highly profitable enterprises, the risks to the health and safety of the players is unacceptable. Any sport that an individual participates in may carry risks, but the participants MUST be medically advised as to those risks and able to make an informed decision about whether to participate.
If you or someone you care about was the victim of a sports-related traumatic brain injury, call Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari at (973) 635-5400. Our personal injury attorneys have obtained more settlements and verdicts than any other firm in New Jersey has.