Dropping The Gloves: NHL Fights Back at Player’s Bid to Exclude Expert Testimony

The NHL has responded to a bid to remove expert testimony the league believes improves their attempt to defeat class certification. The NHL’s response is the latest development in the December bid to certify a class by the league’s former players who claim that the league failed to warn them of the various known risks and diseases associated with repeated head trauma.

The players believe the league’s expert testimony is cumulative and will confuse a jury due to its amount of similar and supposedly irrelevant evidence and information. The NHL does not see the testimonies as cumulative but rather as valued declarations from some of the most qualified experts in the world, with information simply addressing a similar topic but with different perspectives from multiple disciplines. The NHL feels that the areas of expertise the witnesses specialize in, which include neuropsychology, epidemiology, neuropathology and sports medicine, are all relevant to the class certification bid.

The NHL believes that even if the expert testimony is proven to be cumulative, the plaintiff’s testimony is extremely similar in nature and would also need to be excluded due. Additionally, the league alleges that their experts’ testimony is absolutely relevant to the bid for class certification because the experts are simply responding to and attempting to dismantle the plaintiff’s argument that every former player is at an increased risk to suffer from the various diseases associated with multiple blows to the head.

Ultimately, the NHL would prefer to include the expert testimony. The league believes the testimony will be instrumental in their bid to defeat the class certification in the multidistrict litigation outlined in our previous post.


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