Former NHL players Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton have filed a lawsuit against the NHL alleging the league withheld information on the risks of incurring chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, a degenerative brain disease that has been found in people who have experienced repeated brain trauma.
The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, contends the NHL “consistently allowed and encouraged” Carcillo and Boynton to return to games or practices after they had suffered concussions. It adds, “By permitting and promoting fighting, the NHL allowed young players to grow up through the ranks of hockey, learning not how to score goals or kill penalties, but how to fight. The emotional and physical toll exacted on these young men have led to terrible tragedies. The NHL, for decades, has refused to eliminate fighting from its games, practices or culture because of a fear of diminishing revenue. … It is hypocritical and, in fact, negligent, for the NHL to express concern for player safety on the one hand, and permit and promote fighting on the other.”
The firm that filed the suit, Corboy & Demetrio, also represents the estate of late hockey player Steve Montador and the estate of late NFL player Dave Duerson, who died by suicide after requesting that his brain later be studied for CTE.
Carcillo said on Twitter that he would donate any award from the lawsuit toward concussion research and the Carrick Institute, which educates doctors about clinical neuroscience.