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10 former players sue NHL for concussions


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#21 kipwinger

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:12 AM

 

Hear me out:

 

I am all for employee rights and that stuff (i.e supporting players in the lockout) but I think if someone is a professional hockeyplayer they know what to expect. Like someone else mentioned, it is the players themselves who just can't keep their ellbow down and heck (ie. Lupul) some are going into practise without the proper safety gear on. This is of course a difficult matter and if there is even the slighest possiblity of reducing concussion and keeping the players safer without making hockey into soccer, I am all for it.

 

Granted, I haven't read the lawsuit but one also has to keep in mind the different technology nowadays and back then. Should it come out, that some teams wanted the players to play WITH a concussion well then nothing to talk about and the lawsuit claims hopefully win. Toying around with players health should and can never be an option, no matter how important the points are health > hockey.

 

That's my stance on it.

 

Sure, and you've made some reasonable points.  But as someone else said, it's kind of a misnomer to suggest that concussions are only the result of elbows and dirty hits.  Plenty of concussions are simply the result of how fast the game is, which is something the NHL can control for the safety of the player.  Furthermore, the "they know what to expect" argument may or may not be true, but it doesn't really matter.  Just because you knew your industry is dangerous doesn't mean your employer doesn't have to do everything necessary to mitigate danger.  I was in the Army for a long time, deployed overseas and all that.  Pretty dangerous job obviously, and I knew it was.  But because I knew it was dangerous doesn't mean the military doesn't have to enforce safety policies, or protect soldiers from each other (e.g. sexual assaults), or conduct investigations into long term side effects of military career (e.g. veteran suicide rates), etc.  Saying "you knew what to expect" doesn't matter in the most dangerous industry on earth, and it shouldn't matter in hockey either.


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GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#22 Trastion

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:47 AM

Leagues lawyers - "A lawsuit? Really judge? They are screwed in the head!"

 

Judge (after the check clears) - "Yup, they are definetly brain damaged. Case dismissed"



#23 uk_redwing

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 10:29 AM

Hockey is, in my opinion, easily the most dangerous of major league sports you can play. You earn big money in the process, but you're going to get a battering along the way from pucks, sticks, hits, fights, the ice, the boards...especially if you played when helmets weren't mandatory. A hard way to earn a very decent living with a hell of a lot of risk.

 

Don't like the risk? A desk job option is always there. Not much risk from a photocopier.


Edited by haroldsnepsts, 26 November 2013 - 11:51 AM.
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#24 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:32 AM

To try and redirect the conversation a bit, I'll reiterate the points that the players' lawsuit is arguing:
 


Among other things, the suit claims that:

• The NHL knew or should have known about scientific evidence that players who sustain repeated head injuries are at greater risk for illnesses and disabilities both during their hockey careers and later in life.

• Even after the NHL created a concussion program to study brain injuries affecting NHL players in 1997, the league took no action to reduce the number and severity of concussions during a study period from 1997 to 2004. "Plaintiffs relied on the NHL's silence to their detriment," the suit says.

• The league didn't do anything to protect players from unnecessary harm until 2010, when it made it a penalty to target a player's head.

 

 

http://espn.go.com/n...nhl-concussions

 

So the points about "don't like the risks, don't play the game" are missing the point. 

 

Whether you agree or not, the players position is that they were not aware of the full risks of head injuries and their impact later in life.  So they weren't able to make an informed choice to accept those risks. 

 

The other points are saying the league didn't make enough of an effort to learn about the risks and once they started studying them, took over 10 years to make any effort to reduce headshots.

 

 

For people interested, Frontline had a great documentary on the NHL and concussions a few weeks ago.  It covers the evolution of awareness in the game, the study of the head injuries, and the NFL's stance on it over the years. 



#25 F.Michael

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:40 PM

Hockey is, in my opinion, easily the most dangerous of major league sports you can play. You earn big money in the process, but you're going to get a battering along the way from pucks, sticks, hits, fights, the ice, the boards...especially if you played when helmets weren't mandatory. A hard way to earn a very decent living with a hell of a lot of risk.

 

Don't like the risk? A desk job option is always there. Not much risk from a photocopier.

But man - them paper cuts...OUCH!

 

On a serious note - not really surprised by the lawsuit filed...Not sure where I stand; part of me sorta feels sorry for the guys that had multiple concussions, and may have lingering issues, but on the other hand - it is the NHL, and no matter what the league tries to do to reduce these concussions - players are still lining up to play the game, and have no trouble spending the $$$ they've earned.

 

EDIT - as some others have already pointed out - the only way I would see a considerable reduction in the number of concussions would be banning both fighting, AND hitting from all levels of the game.


Edited by F.Michael, 26 November 2013 - 03:43 PM.


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#26 kipwinger

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:58 PM

But man - them paper cuts...OUCH!

 

On a serious note - not really surprised by the lawsuit filed...Not sure where I stand; part of me sorta feels sorry for the guys that had multiple concussions, and may have lingering issues, but on the other hand - it is the NHL, and no matter what the league tries to do to reduce these concussions - players are still lining up to play the game, and have no trouble spending the $$$ they've earned.

 

EDIT - as some others have already pointed out - the only way I would see a considerable reduction in the number of concussions would be banning both fighting, AND hitting from all levels of the game.

 

Yeah, or you could just ban fighting (since it's against the rules anyway) and force guys to hit each other in the shoulders and chest like they're supposed to.


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#27 F.Michael

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:05 PM

 

Yeah, or you could just ban fighting (since it's against the rules anyway) and force guys to hit each other in the shoulders and chest like they're supposed to.

Outta curiosity.....Has there been any studies conducted on the number of concussions that are linked to fights, or hits (be it dirty, or clean)?

 

I think we all know that even 'clean' hits can result in an injury of some form.



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#28 13dangledangle

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:15 PM

And on a side note, man Rick Vaive is a name I haven't heard in a long time.  Brings back memories of the Leafs Wings rivalry in the 80s.

 

  Him and Leeman both just brought back a ton of memories!


....Ladies and Gentlemen Jimmy "F%$*ing" Howard.

#29 kipwinger

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:17 PM

Outta curiosity.....Has there been any studies conducted on the number of concussions that are linked to fights, or hits (be it dirty, or clean)?

 

I think we all know that even 'clean' hits can result in an injury of some form.

 

Literally NOBODY is saying that ALL concussions can be eliminated.  Also, NOBODY is saying that clean hits should be eliminated in an effort to ensure nobody ever gets hurt in a hockey game again. 

 

The only thing being debated, and in this case adjudicated, is whether or not the NHL should (or has) done everything it possibly could to eliminate concussions (or long term brain injuries) which occur as a result of an illegal hit. 

 

Hell, none of the plaintiffs are even calling for fighting to be removed from the game...though IMO they should. 


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#30 LAWings

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:01 PM

 

Well unless you're a Roman Gladiator it's the responsibility of your employer to make sure you're safe at work.  That's true of every job in the civilized world, and it's true of hockey.  I don't think it's too much for the players to ask that they be able to have a career in hockey without suffering severe brain injuries as a result. 

 

Actually, the business men who owned and operated Gladiator schools took great care of their products.  Gladiators were not slaves forced to fight, in the sense that only the best of the best could be in a Gladiator school, if you failed the training, you were sent back to wherever you came from.  All kinds of men became gladiators, from everyday thrill seekers, slaves wanting a better life to men coming from the elite looking for glory and fame. 

 

In fact most Gladiator fights never went to the death as you see in Hollywood.  The gladiator houses would put on shows with other houses but they never resulted in death or injury.  It was against the code so to speak.  They would fight in small arenas kind of like a boxing/WWE match but against another 'dojo' if I can use all modern parlance. 

 

If a Gladiator was hurt or died, the business owner would lose money because they spent a lot to train them, feed and house them.  The profit return was on continued fights.  The better they were the bigger the arena and more fights.

 

But back to the NHL, I think it's wrong for the players to sue for concussions, they knew the risks, just like the Gladiators.  It would be like the gladiators suing the houses that gave them an opportunity that they didn't protect them from the risks.  YOU KNOW THE RISKS!  Don't want to be violently hit 300 times a year?  Don't play a rough contact sport... Seems like everyone is a victim these days.



#31 kipwinger

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

First of all, the players are arguing that they didn't fully know the risks.  Secondly, this "don't take the risk if you're not willing to live with the consequences" argument is friggin' stupid.  Just because there's a latent risk inherent in something doesn't mean you shouldn't make it safer.  That's like saying, "if you don't want to get smashed by a drunk driver then you shouldn't drive" or "if you don't want to get botulism you should only eat fresh food".  You should be able to drive AND avoid drunks, you should be able to eat canned food AND not get poisoned, and you should be able to play hockey AND not have degenerative brain diseases.  And here's the kicker...you should be able to do all that without it being a crap shoot. 

 

Jesus, you people act like it's got to be an either/or scanario.  Most of us live in a country that can send a probe to Mars, clone a sheep, or harness nature to create energy, yet you act like it's unrealistic (and unreasonable) for hockey players to want to play the game they love AND be safe too.


Edited by kipwinger, 26 November 2013 - 05:21 PM.

GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#32 The Greek

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:23 PM

 
But back to the NHL, I think it's wrong for the players to sue for concussions, they knew the risks, just like the Gladiators.  It would be like the gladiators suing the houses that gave them an opportunity that they didn't protect them from the risks.  YOU KNOW THE RISKS!  Don't want to be violently hit 300 times a year?  Don't play a rough contact sport... Seems like everyone is a victim these days.


First, it's not clear that the players fully knew the risks. The complaint alleges that they did not. Second, there are other issues at play here. Just because someone is aware that concussions happen in hockey, it does not mean that they assume the risk of every potential cause of concussion that could occur in a game. A lot of this is going to come down to the level of care that the NHL owes to the players, and whether the NHL met that level of care.

#33 F.Michael

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:24 PM

First of all, the players are arguing that they didn't fully know the risks.  Secondly, this "don't take the risk if you're not willing to live with the consequences" argument is friggin' stupid.  Just because there's a latent risk inherent in something doesn't mean you shouldn't make it safer.  That's like saying, "if you don't want to get smashed by a drunk driver then you shouldn't drive" or "if you don't want to get botulism you should only eat fresh food".  You should be able to drive AND avoid drunks, you should be able to eat canned food AND not get poisoned, and you should be able to play hockey AND not have degenerative brain diseases.  And here's the kicker...you should be able to do all that without it being a crap shoot. 

 

Jesus, you people act like it's got to be an either/or scanario.  Most of us live in a country that can send a probe to Mars, clone a sheep, or harness nature to create energy, yet you act like it's unrealistic (and unreasonable) for hockey players to want to play the game they love AND be safe too.

Someone needs a hug ;)



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#34 BottleOfSmoke

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:31 PM

I'm having a hard time getting my thoughts through my fingertips on this one, so bare with me. I call these "big picture lawsuits." For me, my interest lies less in the outcome for these 10 players, and more in what (if any) policy changes will be generated as a result.

I feel like although the NHL has been the most responsive league in terms of their stance on brain injury, there is still an element of sticking fingers in ears in terms of their acceptance of current research on CTE. I will concede that a causal link has not been scientifically proven according to the rigors of the scientific method and what is generally accepted within the medical community. However, I also think it is folly to ignore the strong case being made for corrolation by the research that is currently being conducted. To ignore the implications for another 10 years until the science is "verified" by a large enough sample size is missing a window of time in which more steps can be taken to protect players.

If the NHL won't make these changes to protect their human assets, maybe changes will be made more proactively to protect their financial assets. That's why these types of lawsuits have merit to me.

Ugh, TL;DR

LGWsig_zpsa75c5d1e.jpg

 


#35 kipwinger

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:33 PM

Someone needs a hug ;)

 

You know, honestly this forum throws a lot of s*** at you most of the time, and most of the time it doesn't really bother me.  But for some reason, I'm genuinely dismayed by this one.  Irrationally blame Bettman or the refs?  I don't care.  Claim Howard sucks?  Don't care.  Argue that Tootoo's name should be in the rafters?  Do.  Not.  Care. 

 

But I can't help but get frustrated by the degree of obtuseness it takes to suggest that a person should not do something rather than expect that they can do it safely. 

 

Hell, I work on the fifth floor of my office building.  If I don't want to die in a building collapse is the onus on me to quite my job, or on my employer to build a safe building?


Edited by vladdy16, 27 November 2013 - 01:29 PM.
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GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#36 LAWings

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:46 PM

Hey Kip, sorry if you took my post as trying to pick on your argument.  I just like history and had a Cliff moment (ala Cheers).  I understand what you're saying, you gave examples but they were all 'shoulds'.  I should also be rich and successful, and I also should never have any problems with anything ever in my life...but life is not that perfect.  Which is why when you buy a hockey ticket, have you ever read the back of it?  When you go to a game, you should not have to be injured in any way shape or form, but you agreed to their terms, that even an act of god will prevent you from suing them. 

 

Should a soldier sue the government for failing to provide a safe environment?  Should a boxer sue?  How about a firefighter?  Hockey players play in a violent contact sport, if you don't know you can have brain injury from it, then you should.  No one wants to take responsibility for their actions, always blaming someone else.  If you engage in risky lifestyle, expect the chances of something happening to go up.  Show me any hockey player who was never injured in their career, and I got a beach to sell you next to that probe on Mars.  Maybe all hockey players should sue because they are all injured now, and the NHL should have given them better work environments....

 

When will the class action lawsut for destroyed knees come?   How many players injected themselves and played with pain... like Marchant...when is his lawsuit coming?  Or Lidstrom playing with a bad foot?  Or Yzerman on his broken knee...or Shanahan when he played with a broken toe... where are their lawsuits and when are they coming?  Because the NHL should have protected them too, no one should be injured, ever.   (insert heavy sarc)

 

Look, don't get me wrong, it's terrible these guys are hurt, I my self am on 22 months of Post Concussion Symptoms, and it sucks, it sucks so bad, I would never wish this on anyone, but I think it's wrong that no one takes ownership for their lives and responsibilities, and it's always someone else fault for not protecting them.  You're a man, you made the decision, live with it, deal with it, stop blaming others for your decisions. :bye1:



#37 F.Michael

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:12 PM

Hey Kip, sorry if you took my post as trying to pick on your argument.  I just like history and had a Cliff moment (ala Cheers).  I understand what you're saying, you gave examples but they were all 'shoulds'.  I should also be rich and successful, and I also should never have any problems with anything ever in my life...but life is not that perfect.  Which is why when you buy a hockey ticket, have you ever read the back of it?  When you go to a game, you should not have to be injured in any way shape or form, but you agreed to their terms, that even an act of god will prevent you from suing them. 

 

Should a soldier sue the government for failing to provide a safe environment?  Should a boxer sue?  How about a firefighter?  Hockey players play in a violent contact sport, if you don't know you can have brain injury from it, then you should.  No one wants to take responsibility for their actions, always blaming someone else.  If you engage in risky lifestyle, expect the chances of something happening to go up.  Show me any hockey player who was never injured in their career, and I got a beach to sell you next to that probe on Mars.  Maybe all hockey players should sue because they are all injured now, and the NHL should have given them better work environments....

 

When will the class action lawsut for destroyed knees come?   How many players injected themselves and played with pain... like Marchant...when is his lawsuit coming?  Or Lidstrom playing with a bad foot?  Or Yzerman on his broken knee...or Shanahan when he played with a broken toe... where are their lawsuits and when are they coming?  Because the NHL should have protected them too, no one should be injured, ever.   (insert heavy sarc)

 

Look, don't get me wrong, it's terrible these guys are hurt, I my self am on 22 months of Post Concussion Symptoms, and it sucks, it sucks so bad, I would never wish this on anyone, but I think it's wrong that no one takes ownership for their lives and responsibilities, and it's always someone else fault for not protecting them.  You're a man, you made the decision, live with it, deal with it, stop blaming others for your decisions. :bye1:

Agreed.

 

Yes - I feel the NHL owners/GMs should do everything to protect their interests - the players...That said the game hockey is a violent one indeed, and only so much can be done to reduce injuries.

 

Again - the only way IMO to do this is to remove fighting from the game at the pro levels (including the AHL/ECHL), and seriously consider doing away with the checking aspect of the game (again - even 'clean' hits like we've seen from Kronwall have resulted in injuries).

 

There's only 1 issue concerning the above.....Will the fans want to shell out $50 plus per ticket to watch this new, and safer form of pro ice hockey?

 

Me thinks not.



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#38 T.Low

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:26 PM

I would think that if people will watch a slow, boring game like soccer, then they would surely watch some sort of safer hockey.

But that's an entirely different thread altogether.

#39 kipwinger

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:38 PM

Yeah but it's not like I'm talking about something fantastic or utopian.  I'll tell you how to reduce concussions to an occasional level so that hockey is as safe as it can be without destroying the game.  Make fighting a game misconduct, and give VERY severe suspensions for anyone who hits illegally, graduating upward to a lifetime ban for guys like Raffi Torres and the like.  There are literally hundreds of really hard hits every year that are perfectly clean, do not cause concussions, and don't require supplemental discipline.  Here's one from last season as an example...

 


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#40 Euro_Twins

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 07:00 PM

This argument is like saying if you don't want to get in a bad car accident don't drive in nascar, or formula 1. It is a risk you take for a sport you love to make millions of dollars. Measures should be taken at every possible turn to avoid such accidents, but to say people don't know the risks involved is asinine. Can we agree the players should know the risks, and the owners should have been doing more to prevent the risks. It's a high speed physical game, and people are bound to get injured, but the real question is did the owners do everything in their respective powers to prevent these injuries?
I'm a Red Wing for the next three years and I'm going to make sure every team we play knows that.'' -- Jordin Tootoo





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