One of the former NHL players suing the league over concussions now wants out.
Vaive’s lawyer Trevor Whiffen claims the former 50-goal man wasn’t provided with a copy of the claim beforehand and that he would not have agreed to the allegations made against the NHL had he been asked to review its contents.
“Mr. Vaive misunderstood the nature of the proceeding being brought, and believed this claim was similar to the worker’s compensation claim being advanced in California on behalf of several former NHL players,” Whiffen said in a statement Thursday.
“Rick has no interest in suing the National Hockey League and has advised that he will not be pursuing the claim in Washington. He has therefore instructed me to take the necessary steps required in order to remove his name from the lawsuit.”
Led by lawyer Mel Owens — an ex-NFL player — the lawsuit has gained steam over the last week. Former Islanders forward Bob Bourne recently added his name, and a report that surfaced on Wednesday claimed the list of plaintiffs has grown to over 200.
The 10 original ex-players on the suit were Vaive, Gary Leeman, Brad Aitken, Darren Banks, Curt Bennett, Richard Dunn, Warren Holmes, Bob Manno, Blair Stewart and Morris Titanic.
The lawsuit comes mere months after the NFL settled a lawsuit brought by thousands of former players over brain injuries suffered during their playing careers. That settlement was worth $765 million.
The NHL said Monday it intends to defend the case “vigorously,” while commissioner Gary Bettman called it “a lawsuit without merit.”