Judge To Move Forward With Decision In Boogaard Wrongful Death Suit v. NHL

In 2013, the late NHL player Derek Boogaard’s parents filed a wrongful death suit in Illinois against the NHL. The plaintiffs allege that Boogaard’s death was a result of the NHL’s post-concussion drug treatment program, as Boogaard died in May of 2011 at the age of 28 after a prescription drug overdose. It was Boogaard’s team doctors that introduced him to the pain medication.

In recent weeks, a fight ensued over documents in a separate but seemingly related case. A federal judge in the separate case—a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Minnesota—ordered the NHL to turn over medical records of former players in order to determine the long-term effects of concussions. The Boogaard family’s attorney believes that these documents have revealed new and relevant information about the NHL’s concussion practices, and requested that the court postpone its ruling on the NHL’s motion to dismiss.

The NHL fought the stay, arguing that the new MDL documents will not substantially alter the plaintiff’s action. U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman agreed, deciding Wednesday to deny the requested stay and move forward with the decision. Feinerman stated that discovery in the case has ended, and that the plaintiffs should have requested the documents earlier. However, Feinerman stated that the plaintiffs can move to amend their complaint if they are not pleased with the decision.

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