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Hockey leagues face lawsuit re former player’s brain injuries

| Jan 29, 2019 | Brain Injuries |

Awareness campaigns have made people in Ontario and other provinces and territories aware of the risks of concussions in sports. Sadly, many sports people learn about the potential for brain injuries too late. One such a case led to a lawsuit that a former captain of the Kelowna Rockets filed against the Western Hockey League, Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League.

The plaintiff claims to have participated in over 200 fights as an enforcer during his hockey career that spanned from 2004 through 2014. He maintains that the hockey leagues fail to inform players of the dangers and potential long-term consequences of the brain injuries they might suffer after repeated concussions. He says he was involved in as many as 25 fights in the 2006/2007 season. He asserts that lasting damage occurred during that season, followed by more concussions caused by 11 fights in the 2007/2008 season when he was only 20 years old.

The former hockey player says the hockey leagues encourage fighting, and players who land many punches are glorified in the media. The 31-year-old player says that the first signs of brain damage became evident after that season when he began experiencing memory loss, mood swings, confusion and anxiety. He became severely depressed, had angry outbursts and even considered suicide.

The plaintiff alleges that his brain injuries resulted from the hockey leagues’ negligence in its failure to warn players of the risks and not enforcing concussion prevention protocols. Other sports players who have to deal with the consequences of repeated concussions could take similar steps in pursuit of recovery of past and future health care costs along with other financial and emotional damages. An experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the ensuing legal proceedings.