UPDATE: 7th Circuit Declines to Revisit its Decision in Late NHL Player’s Wrongful Death Suit

On June 25, 2018, a panel of three 7th Circuit judges voted to deny a rehearing in the wrongful death suit filed on behalf of the late NHL player, Derek Boogaard. As we have continued to cover since 2013, the case was originally dismissed largely due to procedural and technical defects, rather than the merits and alleged facts of the case. Boogaard died in 2011 following an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol. He was 28 years old. A posthumous diagnosis revealed that Boogaard…
Continue reading...

Former Players Sue the NHL

On June 21, 2018, former NHL players Dan Carcillo and Nick Boynton filed a lawsuit against the National Hockey League. Carcillo played 429 games in the NHL for the Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and the Chicago Blackhawks. During those games he was involved in 149 fights and numerous on-ice scuffles. Boynton played 605 games in the NHL for the Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Philadelphia Flyers. During those games he was involved…
Continue reading...

NCAA Settles Wrongful Death Suit Mid-Trial

On June 15, 2018, the NCAA settled a lawsuit brought by Debra Ploetz, wife of former University of Texas football player, Greg Ploetz. Ploetz played college football from 1968 to 1972 but later died in 2015 from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The lawsuit made it to a Dallas, Texas courtroom, but was settled after only three days of trial. The lawsuit was seen as a potential landmark case if the jury ruled against the NCAA, which is potentially the reason why the NCAA decided to…
Continue reading...

Update: Arguments Heard on Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

As we have previously reported, the NFL continues to sort through the claimants involved in its billion dollar concussion settlement. The claimants are former NFL players and families of deceased players seeking to recover against the NFL for concussive injuries resulting from their time spent playing for the league. On May 30, 2018, counsel for the NFL, Richard Tarlowe, asked a Pennsylvania federal judge during arguments to bolster the investigation of legitimate claims by supplementing the process with an additional investigator. Recent audits completed…
Continue reading...

Injured Field Hockey Player Blocked From Suing School

A former high school field hockey player who sued her school district after suffering a head injury at a practice in 2012 had her case dismissed by a Massachusetts appeals court on Friday, May 18, 2018. The appeals court in Middlesex County, Massachusetts affirmed an order of dismissal made by the trial court pursuant to a sovereign immunity clause in the state’s Tort Claims Act. After being struck with a field hockey stick by a teammate, Alexandra Stahr suffered a concussion and the loss of…
Continue reading...

Retired NHL Veteran Alleging Former Teams Knew of Brain Injuries

After making his NHL debut in 1989, Mike Peluso played nine professional seasons as a bruising left winger for five different NHL franchises. He won the Stanley Cup in 1995 as an enforcer on the New Jersey Devils’ “Crash Line”. After his retirement in 1998, the long-term effects of his role as an enforcer and the resulting brain injuries formed the basis of a workers’ compensation suit against his former teams. The most recent allegations, however, have implications outside of workers’ compensation context…
Continue reading...

Former NFL Players Demand Certainty, Haste in Assessment of Fraud Allegations in $1 Billion Settlement

On April 23, 2018, counsel for former NFL football players involved in the $1 billion concussion settlement filed a motion opposing a Pennsylvania court’s ruling which allowed the NFL to conduct ex parte interviews with the doctors who treated the players. As we have previously covered, the release of settlements had been slowed due to potentially fraudulent claims, allegedly “clogging the system,” and delaying relief to former players who had legitimate injuries. The motion filed by the Neurocognitive Football Lawyers (NCFL) sought to address…
Continue reading...

Widow of Notre Dame Football Player Hopeful for CTE Suit to Stand

As we have previously covered, the wife of former Notre Dame football player, Steven Schmitz, filed a lawsuit targeting Notre Dame and the NCAA in 2014 on behalf of her late husband. She is seeking to recover for the college and organization’s alleged “reckless disregard” for the safety of college football players, specifically during the time period that Schmitz spent playing for the team in the 1970s, which led to his diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2012, and his ultimate passing in…
Continue reading...

Former Chicago Bear Sues NFL for Damages from Concussions

On March 27, 2018, former Chicago Bear Craig Steltz filed a lawsuit against the NFL in Louisiana federal court. In the lawsuit, Steltz requested financial compensation for the chronic injuries, expenses, and intangible losses suffered as a result of the NFL’s “intentional tortious misconduct, including fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and negligence.” Steltz claimed that he suffers from the pathological and debilitating effects of mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) caused by the repeated concussive and sub-concussive impacts that he experienced while playing in the NFL. Steltz, a…
Continue reading...

Judge Scales Back Discovery in NCAA Wrongful Death Suit

On March 1, 2018, a Texas court of appeals filed a writ of mandamus, partially granting and partially denying the NCAA’s appeal of a prior discovery order. The suit was initiated by Debra Ploetz, wife of former University of Texas football player, Greg Ploetz, who played for the team from 1968 to 1972 and who died in 2015 from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The wrongful death suit alleges the late athlete’s CTE condition and subsequent death resulted directly from his years spent playing for…
Continue reading...