Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

  • Nov. 12, 2018 11:30 a.m.

The NHL and attorneys for retired players announced a tentative settlement Monday in the biggest lawsuit brought against the league over concussions and other head injuries.

The lawsuit, consolidated in federal court in Minnesota and by far the largest facing the league, involves more than 100 former players who accused the NHL of failing to better prevent head trauma or warn players of risks while promoting violent play that led to their injuries.

The total monetary value of the potential settlement was not disclosed. It is expected to be far less than the billion-dollar agreement reached between the NFL and its former players on the same issue; according to a settlement document posted by Forbes last week, the total value is $18.9 million, which includes $22,000 for each player involved in the lawsuit.

The NHL said it would not acknowledge any liability for any of the players’ claims. A spokesman said there would be no comment until after the opt-in period of 75 days for players.

Attorneys for the retired players say the settlement would include a cash payment for players who choose to participate; neurological testing and assessment for players paid for by the league; an administrative fund to pay for the costs and up to $75,000 in medical treatment for players who test positive on two or more tests.

The settlement would also set up a “Common Good Fund” available to support retired players in need, including those who did not participate in the litigation. The Forbes document said the found would be $2.5 million.

Players who choose not to participate may continue to pursue personal injury claims against the league. But under the terms of the settlement, the NHL has the option to terminate if all players who filed claims or retained counsel don’t participate.

READ MORE: Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after concussion

Attorneys with Minneapolis-based law firm Zimmerman Reed said they were pleased because the main goal was to get retired players medical testing and treatment paid for by the NHL.

The settlement comes four months after a federal judge denied class-action status for the retired players, a significant victory for the league in the lawsuit filed in November 2013. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in July denied class-action status, citing “widespread differences” in state laws about medical monitoring that would “present significant case management difficulties.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed to The Associated Press in September that the two sides had engaged in court-ordered mediation. Bettman said at the time, “We also think the lawsuit doesn’t have merit.”

The NFL settlement covers more than 20,000 retired players, and lawyers expect payouts to top $1.5 billion over 65 years. As of last month, the NFL concussion lawsuit claims panel has approved more than $500 million in awards and paid out $330 million.

RELATED: B.C. Hockey League gets a grip on hockey’s concussion problem

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

West Kelowna winery’s Festival of Trees returns

The fundraiser for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation will return for a third year Nov. 22.

Second transmission line cancelled for West Kelowna

BC Hydro now planning to just make upgrades to existing power line

New era for West Kelowna Warriors with new ownership, management and culture

The Warriors’ revealed the team’s new president and outlook for remainder of the season

World’s largest Indigenous tourism conference hits Kelowna

The Syilx, Nlakápamux and Secwépemc Nations are hosting the 2019 IITC

Canadian Mental Health Association launches Kelowna initiative to improve workplace mental health

Known as “Thoughtfull” the initiative aims to work with employers to create a healthy workplace

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

B.C. forest industry trade mission finding new markets in China

Diplomatic tensions eased, minister Doug Donaldson says

Staight from DeHart

New restaurant takes on Mediterranean flavour

Sex assault charge stayed against Port Moody mayor

Rob Vagramov completed an alternative measures program, special prosecutor said

Campaign lights up support for North Okanagan healthcare

The goal is to raise $275,000 towards urgently needed equipment at the hospital

“I thought, enough is enough”: B.C. teen takes on bullies through social media

‘I thought, enough is enough. I wanted to try something to stop it.’

Audit finds Canada’s fisheries in decline and response lacks urgency

Report says 17 per cent of fish stocks are critically depleted, up from 13.4 per cent in 2018

Small group of Cherry fans protest his firing at Rogers HQ

One sign at the Toronto rally: ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers’

Most Read