NHL's Bettman Downplays Concussion Suit Entering Mediation
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday "downplayed the significance of entering mediation" with former players in a bid to settle a concussion lawsuit, according to John Wawrow of the AP. Bettman said that the league is "simply following a judge's order." Bettman noted that he had "nothing to add" when asked if there has been progress and reiterated that the NHL's "position on the lawsuit hasn't changed." Bettman: "We also think the lawsuit doesn't have merit." Attorney Stuart Davidson, who represents the players in the suit, "disputed Bettman's assertion on the merits of the lawsuit," while confirming that the two sides were "asked to enter mediation" by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Wawrow noted more than 100 former NHLers are part of the lawsuit in "accusing the NHL of failing to better prevent head trauma or warn players of such risks while promoting violent play that led to their injuries." Nelson in July "denied a bid for class-action status" for the suit, which would have "created one group of all living former NHL players and one group of all retired players diagnosed with a neurological disease, disorder or condition" (AP, 9/11).