Deceased NHL Player Suffered From CTE; Family to Sue NHL

On Tuesday, May 12, the Canadian Sports Concussion Project released a report confirming that deceased NHL player, Steve Montador, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), prompting his family to continue with a lawsuit directed at the National Hockey League.

Steve Montador died in February at the age of 35 and had agreed to submit his brain for testing before his early death. Like many other professional athletes who’ve died young and been diagnosed post-mortem with CTE, Montador suffered from depression, erratic behavior, and memory loss before his death. CTE has been linked to the repeated head trauma found in many professional and youth sports like hockey and football. His family has indicated it will continue the lawsuit he began to prepare against the National Hockey League for failing to warn of the long term risks of concussions.

Attorney William Gibbs of the Chichago-based law firm Corboy & Demetrio will be representing the family. Gibbs has not stated whether the suit will join the current concussion-litigation filed against the NHL by 70 former players or be filed directly against the NHL. The law firm is also handling a wrongful death action against the NHL for the estate of Derek Boogaard, who died in May of 2011 at age 28.

The league issued a statement regarding the findings: “The NHL family shares in the sorrow of one of our own losing his life prematurely, and our thoughts, condolences and prayers remain with Steve’s family and friends, [h]owever, we do not agree that the reports and allegations made today establish any link between Steve’s death and his NHL career.”

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