SBD/May 13, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Family Of Late NHLer Derek Boogaard Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against League

A lawsuit by Boogaard’s family against the NHLPA was dismissed this spring
The family of late NHLer Derek Boogaard has "filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against" the league, according to John Branch of the N.Y. TIMES. The suit contends that the NHL is "responsible for the physical trauma and brain damage that Boogaard sustained during six seasons as one of the league’s top enforcers, and for the addiction to prescription painkillers." The league yesterday declined to comment. In 55 pages of "detailed accusations, the suit does not seek specific damages to be awarded to Boogaard’s parents and four siblings." It asks that a trial jury determine "a sum in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limit" for each of the eight counts in the suit. The suit was filed late Friday by Chicago-based law firm Corboy & Demetrio in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. The firm "brought a similar case against the NFL in 2012 on behalf of" late NFLer Dave Duerson. William Gibbs, a lawyer for the Boogaards, said that the family's suit against the NHL was "filed in time to beat two-year statutes of limitation for wrongful-death cases in places like Illinois and New York." A previous lawsuit that the Boogaard family filed against the NHLPA last September, through "a different lawyer, was dismissed this spring." The lawsuit against the NHL "details the care that Boogaard received from specific team doctors of the Rangers and the Minnesota Wild, and the co-directors and a primary counselor of the league’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/13). In Chicago, Dan Mihalopoulos notes the 55-page filing begins by noting that in Boogaard's 277 games for the Rangers and Wild, he "scored just three goals but participated in 66 on-ice fights" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/13). Gibbs said that because the Boogaards' attorneys filed suit late Friday afternoon, the league "wouldn't officially receive service" until today (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/13).
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