Category Archives: NHL

NHL in Fight with Insurer over Concussion Lawsuits

The National Hockey League is currently being sued in two separate lawsuits by former players who allege that the league concealed the long-term effects of concussions and failed to adequately warn them of the same.  On April 17, the NHL was sued again – this time by one of its insurers (TIG Insurance Co., a New Hampshire-based unit of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd.), a company that hopes to limit or avoid its duty to defend the league in the existing cases and the new suits…

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Flyers & NHL Settle Class Action Winter Classic Dispute

A $1.1 million settlement has been reached in a putative class action about the 2012 Winter Classic tickets. Philadelphia Flyers season ticket holders sued Comcast Spectator – the team’s owner – and the NHL after being “forced” to purchase tickets to the Winter Classic separately at a significantly higher price.  If approved, the settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey on December 12, 2013 will end the breach of contract action. On January 2, 2012, the Philadelphia Flyers played in the NHL’s…

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Is it the NHL’s Turn to Take a Hit on Concussions?

On November 25, the National Hockey League was sued by 10 former players in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.  Plaintiffs – which include NHL alumni such as Gary Leeman, Curt Bennett and Richie Dunn – assert that the NHL hasn’t done enough to protect players from the dangers posed by concussions. Similar to the several thousand plaintiffs who recently settled the concussion litigation against the NFL (for $765 million), these former NHL alums assert that “The NHL’s…

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Professional Athletes Fighting “Jock Taxes”

Professional athletes in two states are fighting “jock taxes.”  Arguing that the taxes are “unfair and unconstitutional,” players are telling Tennessee and Ohio they want their money back. A “jock tax” raises state or city tax revenues by taxing athletes who play in those locations.  These taxes are imposed on professional athletes in a number of places such as the state of Tennessee and the cities of Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Philadelphia.  The general idea is that athletes are charged a…

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Concussion Controversy: Is the NHL Next?

As previously reported by the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider, the NFL’s recent settlement of the concussion class action brought by former pro players, the pending suits by former college football players against the NCAA and helmet manufacturer Riddell, and the wrongful death action by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died after repeated head injuries suffered on the field, among others, all beg the question: When — not if — will hockey see a rash of concussion-related litigation? Both the…

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Former Hockey Player Derek Boogaard’s Family Sues NHL for Wrongful Death

The family of a National Hockey League (NHL) player who died of an accidental overdose from pain medications and alcohol has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the league in Cook County, Illinois. The family of Derek Boogaard alleges that the NHL is responsible for the brain damage he suffered during his years in the league and for his eventual addiction to prescription pain killers. Boogaard was found dead of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol on May 13, 2011 at the age…

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The Fight Over Legalized Sports Betting Begins

In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 26 USC 3701, to ban sports gambling outside states where it was already established (Nevada, and to much lesser extents, Delaware, Montana and Oregon) as of the time of the statute. In 2012, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a law allowing for wagering on the outcome of sporting events at racetracks and at Atlantic City casinos, and Governor Chris Christie signed that into law. The four major North American sports leagues, plus the…

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Game On

At 4:40 a.m. on Sunday, January 6, 2013, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association reached a verbal agreement on the framework of a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement.   Negotiations

  • The new agreement is the product of a 10-day flurry of negotiations that began with a comprehensive proposal from the league on Friday, December 28, 2012. Prior to that, there had been no negotiations between the parties since Thursday, December 6, 2012.
  • The parties met in person at league offices

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As Clock Ticks Down, a Closer Look at the NHLPA’s Threat to Decertify

The National Hockey League Players Association is considering the aggressive move of disclaiming interest in representing National Hockey League Players in collective bargaining negotiations with the league. That move would technically end negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement and open the avenue of anti-trust litigation for the players. Essentially, the NHLPA would be turning over representation of the players to the agents and the attorneys and risk desertion by groups of players that may be adversely affected by anti-trust litigation. The act of decertification…

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GUEST EXPERT ANALYSIS: Why the Lockout Strategy did not work for the NFL and why the NHL is in a Different Position

Looking for a repeat of its successful bargaining strategy of locking out players, the National Football League locked out its 121 part-time referees in June following the expiration of the National Football League Referees Association contract on May 31, 2012.  Three months later, the NFL decreased its demand for concessions and increased its wage proposal in order to end this work stoppage before the replacement referees made another bad call on the field that changed the outcome of another game.  Most people credit the call…

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