NHL Concussion Lawsuit: NHL Seeks Discovery from Canadian Doctors

The NHL has filed a new discovery motion in the concussion lawsuit, which was brought by former players and consolidated in Minnesota as a multidistrict litigation in August 2014. The motion, filed on November 25, 2015, asks the court to seek help from the Ontario Superior Court in order to compel certain Canadian doctors to disclose documents.

The 100-plus plaintiff players claim that the NHL failed to ensure player safety. It is alleged that the league failed to ensure players’ full recoveries following head injuries and before permitting players to return to game-play.

In the NHL’s motion, the league claims Toronto-area doctors possess emails and documents pertaining to fighting, head injuries, and player deaths. The doctors named in the motion were consultants of the NHL Players’ Association. The NHL argues the documents may contain evidence relevant to their defense, in which the league contends that it actively sought to prevent injury and protect its players.

The NHL’s motion memorandum stated the following:

The NHL contends that it is entitled to discover any information the NHLPA consultants had about the potential risks of head injuries as well as any communications between the consultants and the league regarding head injuries, fighting, discipline and overall player safety . . . In sum, the NHLPA consultants, while nonparties, have in their possession and control documents and communications regarding various topics of information that are at the heart of plaintiffs’ case and cannot be obtained from alternative sources.

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