Second Circuit Refuses to Second-Guess College Hockey Coach

James “Jak” Knelman played hockey for Middlebury College until he was kicked off the team by head coach Bill Beaney for leaving a team banquet early. Whether the coach’s decision was right or wrong, the player has no right to sue the coach and college, according to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a decision issued on June 23 (Knelman v. Middlebury College, 13-2614-cv, 2014 US App LEXIS 11721 [2d Cir. June 23, 2014]). Knelman joined the Middlebury…
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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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NHL Faces Off with a New Concussion Suit

This week the NHL was hit with another concussion-based lawsuit brought against it by nine former hockey players.  The 109-page court filing accuses the league of negligence for failing to properly warn and protect players from the risks involved with repeated head trauma.  In pertinent part the complaint reads, “[D]espite the fact that the NHL’s violent game design induces head trauma, including concussions, the NHL has failed and continues to fail to warn its players of the risks to their lives and the devastating and…
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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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