Retired Players Urge Court to Continue Discovery in NHL Concussion Suit

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, former hockey players in the multidistrict litigation concussion suit filed a memorandum in opposition to the NHL’s motion to stay discovery. The league’s motion was filed in January, seeking a stay until its 2014 motion to dismiss is ruled on, arguing it has complied with all discovery requests and spent millions of dollars in what may potentially end up being extraneous spending if the suit is tossed.

Players are arguing that the NHL’s sudden attempt at halting discovery is nothing more than a vain showing of misplaced strategy, saying that if the NHL really wanted discovery to be prevented during this period, then it should have filed a request motion concomitantly with its motion to dismiss.

The ex-NHLers also allege that up to this point, it was the league, not the players, who consistently sought increased and quicker discovery, so as to try to bury the players’ litigation team in irrelevant paperwork. The memo also points to the league’s demand for independent medical examinations of all the plaintiffs in the case and its request for documents relating to non-class hockey players as examples of the NHL exuding unnecessary litigation costs.

The players also argue that the league’s motion is inappropriate and untimely, while stating that it would be unfair to stay the discovery process at this stage as a tremendous amount of money and resources on the plaintiffs’ behalves has already been spent towards completing disclosure.

A hearing is scheduled for later this month to determine the merits of the NHL’s motion to stay.

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