Tentative Settlement Reached through Mediation in NHL Concussion Dispute
Wednesday, December, 5, 2018
The National Hockey League and the lawyers representing the retired players from the league recently announced they had come to a tentative agreement in mediation concerning the lawsuit against the league regarding player concussions and head injuries.
The lawsuit had been consolidated in Minnesota federal court and was the largest ever faced by the NHL. The suit included more than 100 retired players. The complaint accused the NHL of failing players with the prevention and treatment is provided for head injuries. It also accused the league of failing to properly warn players of the risks they faced when playing hockey.
Though no monetary value for the settlement was made public, it is expected to be significantly less than the billion dollar settlement received by former NFL players regarding the same safety issues. Lawyers representing the players did state the settlement included a cash payment, as well as neurological testing and assessment that would be paid for by the league. There would also be an administrative fund that would pay for up to $75,000 in medical treatment for players who tested positive in two or more of the tests.
In addition to what players would receive individually, there would also be a Common Good Fund established that would support retired players in need, even if they did not participate in the lawsuit.
Despite reaching an agreement, the NHL refused to acknowledge liability for the claims made by players. Players have an opt-in period that will last for 75 days. Those who choose not to opt-in would still have the option of pursuing personal injury claims individually against the NHL.