The latest development in the concussion-related lawsuit between former players and the NHL could be bad news for the league.
TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that the Chubb Corp., the league’s insurance company, was ordered by Judge Susan Nelson to hand over the players’ medical records (after removing information that would identify individuals).
Westhead believes that reps for the former players sought that information – a request that was initially denied in 2015 – for two main reasons:
1. To see if “the records may shed more light on the prevalence among former players of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other brain-crippling disorders.”
2. In an attempt to determine how much the league and/or insurance company knows about the health situations for those players.
There’s precedent for such legal actions making an impact on cases related to concussions.
Westhead notes that the NFL was forced to release similar information in their case, which may have factored into a decision that resulted in a $1 billion settlement. It was determined that former NFL players were indeed more likely to deal with brain injuries.
Back in April 2015, the link between the NFL and NHL cases seemed beneficial for the former players’ side, as The Star’s Kevin McGran reported.
“This is precedent-setting,” Richard Powers, a sports law expert at the Rotman School of Business, said of the NFL’s settlement. “The claim (by retired NHLers) is almost exactly like the NFL’s.”
Now, that doesn’t mean that the NHL will face the same results as the NFL, especially since this court case could very well face additional twists and turns.
Here’s a quick refresher on some of the other recent developments:
- Back in March, the NHL was unsuccessful in attempting to get the lawsuit dismissed.
- League emails went public, and the results weren’t pretty.
- This story may seem familiar, as the league was forced to turn over “reams” of concussion-related data back in August 2015.
It’s not the sort of situation the league would like to deal with, even if it ends up being in the NHL’s favor once things are finished.