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Former players file brain injury lawsuit against NHL


Sports fans are well aware of how the National Football League has come under fire for concussion-related incidents. It is now the National Hockey League's turn to be in the hot seat, with players having filed a class action lawsuit alleging the league's negligence led to several players receiving a brain injury.

Former hockey players filed a class action lawsuit against the NHL stating that the league did not inform them about the dangers of brain injuries. With concussions as normal as lacing on one's skates, the lawsuit seemed inevitable after the NFL was put under the microscope because of the incidence of concussions and concerns about traumatic brain injuries.

The unnamed players, reportedly numbering about 200, have taken flak for the suit. A former hockey coach, now a television commentator, even called the move a "money grab." Regardless, concussions and head traumas cannot be easily brushed off. The NHL increased the penalties for hits to the head in the late 1990s; however, players are still allowed to keep skating while injured.

The players' legal counsel, a former professional athlete himself, contends the issue lies with the fact that when players sustain a head injury, the league does not inform them about what to do or there is someone who can help them. He adds that whatever happens on the ice is sanctioned by the league.

Concussions and other head traumas should never be taken lightly. Even if players are checked out and free of symptoms, studies support that they may still have lingering damage that can lead to a severe negative outcome in the long term.

Brain injury is not limited to sports. Residents of Los Angeles, as elsewhere in the United States, can be injured in auto, workplace and other types of accidents. If the accident is proven to be the result of someone's negligence, victims should consider filing a claim against the responsible party in an attempt to recover compensation for damages suffered as a result of the injury.

Source: LA Times, "Backlash Is Startling After NHL Is Sued over Repetitive Brain Injuries," Helen Elliot, Dec. 2, 2013

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