For a safe game, an all-around perspective about the safety and welfare of the players must be considered. In particular, brain-related issues and a possible lawsuit by players must be considered. Recently, NHL decided to settle for a $ 19 million settlement with retired players who sued the league alleging that they and the medical personnel failed to inform them of the imminent danger they faced while playing.
The agreement brought to conclusion the four-year-long hearing. According to documents the league released, it will pay more than 100 players included in the lawsuit a maximum of $18.9 million to the retired player who must be subjected to medical care and monitoring such as neurological testing. However, according to NHL commissioner Bettman, there is no association of concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease a number of hockey players had been diagnosed with.
As a proactive measure, the league has implemented a concussion protocol since the 2016-17 season and updated it last season. The league negotiated with the NHL Players Association new rules which state harsher penalties for head hits and for players who exhibit potential concussion, forced removal will be the cause of action. Moreover, previous assessment on the brain of a former hockey player showed a relationship between concussion and CTE.
The way NHL settled its case sprung comparison to NFL’s concussion settlement. As a way to protect its reputation, NFL decided to settle with its retired player before initiation of a legal proceeding and the association of the sport and brain trauma. NFL ended up paying approximately $1 billion. Moreover, Zimmerman states that hockey and football are two different fields.
Though the lawsuit had an inclined advantage to NHL, the NHL resolution for this settlement will benefit both their client and all retired players. Also, it will act as a reference and deter future litigation. Moving forward the league seeks for a safer game and significant care of everyone’s welfare.
Kilgore, A. (November 12, 2018). NHL reaches a settlement with former players in concussion suit.