Former NHL players Dan Fritsche (pictured) and Chris Ferraro are the latest names to pop up in concussion-related legal actions toward the league, as TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that they were mentioned in a lawsuit filed in New York on July 25.
The gist of this suit is that the league downplayed risks related to head injuries/concussions, including allegedly failing to share the findings of studies with players. Westhead passes along this passage from the lawsuit, which provides a summary of their argument:
“The NHL has intentionally created, fostered, and promoted a culture of extreme violence, including violence from fighting. The NHL has known that, due to such violence, head trauma to plaintiffs and the class has been and is imminent,” the lawsuit says. “The NHL has known that head trauma to plaintiffs and the class has and will be devastating and long-term negative health effects. Despite this knowledge and to maintain its revenue stream from violent construct, the NHL has and does intentionally subject plaintiffs and the class to head trauma.”
One interesting element of the lawsuit is that their representatives reportedly called on the league to begin a “medical monitoring program” for former and current players suffering from such injuries.
Some of the other details are a little fuzzier at this time, possibly because some elements are subject to change. Westhead’s report indicates that lawyers might eventually pursue a class-action lawsuit with about 100 people involved while the case already may involve damages of “more than $5 million.”
This is the fifth lawsuit related to concussions in the NHL, as word surfaced of the fourth one late in July. Here’s a quick look back at the threats of legal action:
- That late July lawsuit was filed by former defenseman Jon Rohloff with similar claims.
- Two different suits sprouted up a few months earlier in April. One involved former players such as Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer and Mike Peluso while another (filed in Minnesota) included players such as Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett.
- The first lawsuit was filed in November 2013 and seemed to be the most significant consideration with reportedly as many as 200 players involved. The NHL responded to that November lawsuit by claiming satisfaction with its safety measures.