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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino’s Crystal Cove crowned top family destination for second year in a row

TripAdvisor has announced the recipients of its Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best awards.

COVID-19: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation asks Tofino businesses for support as emergency funding runs dry

“We need to pay for the work they do. It’s such important work.”

DFO says the five aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Canada can lead the way to save sharks from extinction, says fisheries expert

“Combined with fishing extraction numbers, sharks experience huge losses in the environment.”

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Filmmaker James Cameron’s Comox Valley winery up for sale

The director behind The Terminator and Titanic puts Beaufort Winery on the market after six years

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Most Read