Former NHL Enforcer Michael Peluso Goes After His Old Teams for Millions in Head Injury Suit

Back in April, Michael Peluso, former NHL “enforcer,” filed suit against the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, and the team’s insurance companies for intentionally hiding the dangers he faced from continued head injuries arguing that his claims fall outside of workers’ compensation. He argues that a newly discovered medical report shows that the teams knew of the risks of further head injuries, but kept putting him back on the ice.

Peluso specifically alleges that the teams serious breaches of legal duties led to him suffering through nine grand mal seizures, early onset dementia, and severe neurological and psychological impairment. His complaint states that he has already spent more than $100,000 on medical bills and speculates his medical care will exceed $10 million over the course of his lifetime. He additionally argues that the insurance companies intentionally hid medical evidence, denied his workers’ compensation claims, and even blamed his head injuries on “lack of sleep, partying, dehydration, binge drinking, and failure to take medication.”

The NHL moved to dismiss Peluso’s claim based on lack of jurisdiction and that Peluso’s suit runs afoul of the first-filed rule because his workers’ compensation case is still pending. But Peluso filed a motion in opposition arguing that the court has personal jurisdiction over the defendants because Peluso’s contracts to play in the NHL were negotiated and signed in Minnesota. Peluso also argued that this case does not run afoul of the first-filed rule because that rule only applies to related federal cases, and not workers’ compensation cases.

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