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Woman hit by puck sues Hawks, NHL, UC
A fan who had emergency brain surgery in January after being hit by a hockey puck sued the National Hockey League, the Blackhawks and the United Center on Wednesday.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of season ticket holders Elizabeth and Steven Hahn of LaGrange Park alleges team, league and arena officials knew for years that flying pucks were dangerous but did not increase safety measures.
"They consciously and recklessly disregarded the fact that this was happening," attorney Tim Whiting said.
Officials from the Blackhawks did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment on the lawsuit. The NHL declined to comment Thursday.
Elizabeth Hahn was hit by the frozen puck while picking up a napkin Jan. 6 at a game between the Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. She was taken to Rush Presbyterian Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with a blood clot on her brain and a severed right ear lobe, according to the lawsuit.
Whiting said he believes the defendants "wantonly and willfully" disregarded the safety of spectators and should be exempt from a state law granting hockey stadiums immunity from injury liabilities.
Elizabeth Hahn, who was not present at the press conference, is recovering and "doing better," Whiting said. She has returned to work but suffers from headaches, has problems with her hearing and difficulty maintaining her balance, he added.
Steven Hahn is named as a plaintiff because he suffered from his wife's injuries by losing her companionship for a time and becoming liable for her medical expenses, according to the lawsuit.
The couple is seeking an undisclosed amount of compensatory and punitive damages.