The family of Derek Boogaard has filed a lawsuit against the NHL players union accusing the union of failing to pursue a legitimate claim against the NHL related to the untimely death of NFL enforcer, Derek Boogaard. According to a piece in The New York Times, the lawsuit is currently small, but has the potential to trigger a momentum against the NHL in a similar way that the NFL is currently facing a class-action lawsuit from former players.
As discussed in previous posts on this blog, the NFL class-action accuses the league of not doing enough to prevent repeat brain injuries in players despite having the knowledge that repeat injuries can lead to permanent damage and health problems down the road, such as early-onset Alzheimer's and depression.
Boogaard died in May 2011. His death was related to his addiction to and abuse of alcohol and painkillers. His parents allowed his brain to be studied after his death, and it was found that Boogaard had significant brain degeneration from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a degenerative disease that occurs from significant trauma to the brain. Boogaard was an enforcer in the NHL, which means his role was to fight other players.
The next post will continue to discuss this case.
Source: The New York Times, "Boogaard Lawsuit May Shake Up Hockey," Jeff Z. Klein, Sept. 26, 2012
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