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…
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Wife of Erik Karlsson Seeks Protection Order from Mike Hoffman’s Fiancée

News broke on June 12, 2018, that on May 4, the wife of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson, Melinda, filed an order of protection against Karlsson’s former teammate Mike Hoffman’s longtime partner, Monika Caryk. According to the application, Caryk had been threatening Melinda and Erik Karlsson since November 2017. Caryk allegedly posted over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements on social media about Melinda. Also, Caryk allegedly “uttered that she wished [Melinda] was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ [Karlsson’s] legs to ‘end his career.'”…
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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…
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Update: Garcia-Tatupu v. NFL Player Retirement Plan

On June 8, 2018, the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan and the NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan (defendants), an ERISA-governed multiemployer pension plan which provides retirement and disability benefits to eligible NFL players and their beneficiaries, asked the First Circuit not to reverse the lower court decision that the NFL’s retirement board properly denied claims made by the ex-wife of a late New England Patriots player, Mosiula F. “Mosi” Tatupu. As we have previously covered, more than four years after his 2010…
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UPDATE: Dismissal of Late NHL Player’s Wrongful Death Suit Affirmed by 7th Circuit

Since May of 2013, the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider has been tracking a wrongful death suit filed on behalf of the late NHL player, Derek Boogaard. The suit may have reached the end of its long road with the Seventh Circuit affirming the dismissal of the case. In the midst of ongoing litigation against the NHL for their conduct relating to the risks of head injuries, the result in the Boogaard case is temporary victory for the league which is seeking to avoid the…
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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…
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NHL Moves to Bar Testimony of Four Expert Witnesses in Concussion Litigation

On February 9, 2018, two proposed classes of NHL players asked U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson not to bar expert testimony of four experts. The players argued that the experts provided necessary information that is pertinent to their lawsuit. The suit began when former NHL players claimed that the NHL failed to inform them of the health risks caused by concussions and head-related trauma even though the league had knowledge of such information. The NHL argued that epidemiologist Dr. R. Dawn Comstock’s opinions…
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Fight over the Mark “Golden Knights”

On January 10, 2018, the Department of the Army filed two notices of opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to oppose the marks “Vegas Golden Knights,” and “Las Vegas Golden Knights.” The marks were filed by Black Knights Sports Entertainment, LLC. Black Knights Sports Entertainment and its majority owner, Bill Foley, are the owners of the recent National Hockey League expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. In August 2017, Black Knights Sports Entertainment, LLC completed the registration application and from the…
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Parents of Late NHL Player Derek Boogaard Request Revival of Wrongful Death Suit

On Monday, September 25, 2017, the parents of the late NHL player Derek Boogaard appealed to the Seventh Circuit, asking the court to revive their wrongful death lawsuit against the NHL. On appeal, the Boogaards claim the district court incorrectly applied Minnesota state law to the case. Derek Boogaard played in the NHL for six years and participated in 66 fights, with one of his final fights causing him a severe concussion. The Boogaards allege in their original suit that their son’s death stemmed from…
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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…
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