Former NHL Players Bringing Concussion Suit Ask Court to Unseal Concussion Class Certification Docs

Several former NHL players brought a concussion suit against the National Hockey League in 2013 based on allegations that they have all experienced long-term neurological issues as a direct result of concussions sustained while playing for the league; a suit precipitated by a settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players over similar allegations. The players claim the league neglected to provide adequate protection and information re concussion dangers and the possible repercussions. One of the players’ experts opined that the average NHL player…
Continue reading...

Family of Derek Boogaard Asks Federal Judge to Remove Tort Claims to State Court

The parents of former NHL player Derek “Boogeyman” Boogaard are asking a Federal District Court judge to remove their wrongful death claims — against the NHL — to state court. Their request comes on the heels of a ruling striking all claims involving federal law, and, Boogaard’s parents opine, the only allegations left to decide involve state tort law claims. Filed in 2013, the suit focused on the NHL’s failure to protect Boogaard and permitted him to return to action without completing recovery for his…
Continue reading...

NHL Seeks To Have Wrongful Death Claims Checked

On November 4, 2016, the NHL sought to have Judge Gary Feinerman of the Northern District of Illinois reconsider the court’s previous decision to allow relatives of deceased hockey player Derek Boogaard to file wrongful death claims against the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL argued the claims fell under the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and should be preempted. Judge Feinerman had previously agreed with the player’s family, which alleged the NHL promoted violence and implied head trauma was not dangerous and did not…
Continue reading...

Dispute Over NHL Player’s 20-Game Suspension Continues

The dispute over defenseman Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension for knocking a referee to the ice after being body slammed into the boards has created many questions in the NHL. Initially, there was an issue over whether players should be liable for conduct that occurs immediately after a head injury. The NHL seemingly thought this issue was resolved when the NHL Commissioner enforced the 20-game suspension against Wideman; however, that was not the end. The NHL Players’ Association and Wideman appealed the suspension to a neutral…
Continue reading...

Well-Known Litigation Attorney Joins NHLPA Amid Pending Concussion and Player Discipline Litigation

In an NHLPA press release on July 29, 2016 the Player’s Union announced that longtime complex commercial litigation attorney Bruce S. Meyer is their new senior director of collective bargaining. The move will take place in mid-August and he is expected to get to work on the policy and legal aspects of the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations. Meyer, an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University School of Law is considered an expert in International Sports Law and Business. As a partner at…
Continue reading...

NHL Commissioner Bettman Argues There’s No Evidence Supporting Link Between Hockey and Brain Trauma

On July 25, 2016, a letter by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was filed in the multi-district litigation over concussions in hockey dismissing the link between hockey related head injuries and long-term brain conditions. In this letter, he reiterated a similar infamous stance previously made by the NFL that there is no definitive connection between the two and their league has done everything in their power to keep its players safe. Recently, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), a ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection…
Continue reading...

Minnesota Wild Seek Sanctions for Daily Fantasy Company Looking to Skate Sponsorship Agreement

As previously thought, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild are formally seeking sanctions against fantasy sports operator Draft Ops, owned by Emil Interactive Games LLC. On July 6, 2016, the Wild asked a Minnesota federal court to sanction Emil Interactive for attempting to escape the $1.1 million they owe as part of a sponsorship deal with the Wild and their Arena, the Xcel Energy Center. Initially, the Wild sued Emil Interactive for breach of contract after the parties agreed the daily fantasy sports company would be…
Continue reading...

Senator Presses NHL Commissioner for Answers on Concussions

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D – Connecticut) is pressing the National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman to come clean with answers regarding the NHL’s stance on concussions. Specifically, Senator Blumenthal chided Bettman over comments which he believed to be “dismissive” about the link between head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the brain disease which made headlines during the National Football League concussion litigation in recent years. While the NFL has admitted to a link between CTE and playing football, Bettman has made no such…
Continue reading...

Minnesota Wild Claims DFS Company’s Bid for Dismissal in Sponsorship Dispute was Made in Bad Faith

On June 22, 2016 the next step in an extended and contentious legal battle between the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and Draft Ops fantasy sports was filed in a Minnesota federal court. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild filed a Response in Opposition to Draft Op’s Motion to Dismiss, asking a federal judge not to dismiss their complaint. Previously, Emil Interactive Games, which operates Draft Ops fantasy sports, asked the court to dismiss the Minnesota Wild’s breach of contract claims over a sponsorship agreement…
Continue reading...

NHL Becomes the First Major Pro-Sports League to Take a Gamble on Las Vegas

On June 22, 2016 the NHL officially announced that the city of Las Vegas, Nevada will be getting an expansion franchise. Speculation has been rampant that a deal was in place — pending a vote by the NHL’s Board of Governors — for the first major professional sports franchise in Las Vegas. The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the Las Vegas franchise, backed by Fidelity Financial Chairman Bill Foley, to begin play in the 2017-18 seasons. In the last few years…
Continue reading...