Entertainment & Sports Law
NHL sued by player’s family for wrongful death
By Debra Cassens Weiss
May 13, 2013, 12:40 pm CDT
The family of hockey player Derek Boogaard, who died in 2011 from a combination of alcohol and pain medication, has filed a wrongful death suit against the National Hockey League.
The suit was filed Friday by Corboy & Demetrio, the same Chicago law firm that sued over the death of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in 2011, the New York Times reports. Both Duerson and Boogaard suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head. Duerson’s suit has been consolidated with a suit by about 4,200 NFL players.
William Gibbs, a lawyer for the Boogaards, summarized the allegations in the new suit. “To distill this to one sentence,” Gibbs told the Times, “you take a young man, you subject him to trauma, you give him pills for that trauma, he becomes addicted to those pills, you promise to treat him for that addiction, and you fail.”
The complaint says Boogaard “was provided copious amounts of prescription pain medications, sleeping pills, and painkiller injections by NHL teams’ physicians, dentists, trainers and staff” to treat pain and injuries. Boogaard played in 277 NHL games for the New York Rangers and the Minnesota Wild.