Ten former NHL players file suit over lack of concussion information

Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Gary Leeman, who played in the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic game earlier this month, is among the ex-NHL players who have brought a class-action lawsuit against the league for allegedly concealing information regarding the consequences of repeated blows to the head.
(Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

VANCOUVER, Canada — Ten former NHL players are contending in a class action lawsuit that the league concealed information regarding the consequences of repeated blows to the head and hasn’t adequately protected players from head trauma.

The players, represented by two law firms — one of them being Namanny, Byrne and Owens of Laguna Hills — seek damages to be determined at trial.

Here’s a link to the suit.


The 10 were identified as Gary Leeman, Brad Aitken, Darren Banks, Curt Bennett, Richard Dunn, former Kings center Warren Holmes, Bob Manno, Blair Stewart, Morris Titanic and Rick Vaive. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The suit contends that players “can sustain close to one thousand or more hits to the head in one season,” and that repeated blows “result in permanently impaired brain function.” It adds, “Plaintiffs did not know, and were not told by the NHL, how dangerous this repeated brain trauma is…

“The NHL’s active and purposeful concealment of the severe risks of brain injuries exposed players to unnecessary dangers they could have avoided had the NHL provided them with truthful and accurate information and taken appropriate action to prevent needless harm.”

The NHL responded to the claims through a statement from Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:

“We are aware of the class action lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of a group of former NHL Players. While the subject matter is very serious, we are completely satisfied with the responsible manner in which the League and the Players’ Association have managed Player safety over time, including with respect to head injuries and concussions. We intend to defend the case vigorously and have no further comment at this time.”

The NFL in August agreed to pay $765 million to settle a suit brought by 4,500 retired players and their families who said the league didn’t disclose the long-term impact of head injuries.


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