There are inherent risks associated with playing certain sports including hockey, football, boxing, wrestling and soccer. For example, a professional hockey player knows that hockey is a violent sport that involves a great deal of physical contact. As such, holding a professional league financially responsible for these inherent risks is questionable.
Derek Boogard who played professional hockey for both the New York Rangers and the Minnesota Wild was found to have “suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head.” According to his family, Boogard was given “prescription pain medications, sleeping pills, and painkiller injections by NHL teams’ physicians, dentists, trainers and staff” to treat pain and injuries.” Sadly, Boogard passed away in 2011 “from a combination of alcohol and pain medication.”
NHL Player’s Family Blames the NHL for Their Son’s Death
Boogard’s family has placed blame on the NHL. His family has filed a wrongful death suit against the NHL, alleging the following:
- That the NHL is responsible for the “physical trauma and brain damage that Boogaard sustained” while in the NHL.
- That the NHL is responsible for Boogaard’s “addiction to prescription painkillers.”
- That the NHL team physicians prescribed “an inordinate amount of pain medications” for Derek Boogaard.
- That the NHL “breached its duty to Boogaard by failing to monitor his prescriptions or establish proper procedures for administering and tracking them.”
- That “the substance-abuse program knew that Boogaard violated its rules many times.” However, according to the lawsuit, the program “never disciplined or suspended him, as program rules dictate.” The rules that he allegedly violated, included a “series of failed drug tests" and an "admission that he sometimes bought painkillers illegally.”
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions:
According to NY Times, the Boogard family lawsuit against the NHL was “filed in time to beat two-year statutes of limitation for wrongful-death cases in places like Illinois and New York.” Most states have different laws regarding statutes of limitation for wrongful-death cases. You can determine the length of time available in your state by speaking to a wrongful-death attorney in your area.
Do you think the NHL disregards player injuries?
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