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

Just Posted

Cold weather centre to open in Grand Forks

The centre will be open around the clock through to the spring.

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

Grand Forks fire crews respond to ‘abandoned’ house fire

No one was in the home at the time of the fire.

From the Hill: The millstone of a cannabis conviction

Richard Cannings writes about records expungement for cannabis convictions

Tips for avoiding Canada Revenue Agency scams

Grand Forks RCMP are asking residents to be vigilant.

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms marks completion of $381 million project

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read