Parents of Former Hockey Player Bring Wrongful Death Case against NHL

Parents of Former Hockey

Judge Gary Feinerman, in a U.S. District Court, recently dismissed a wrongful death case brought by the parents of Derek Boograd, a former National Hockey League (NHL) player. The suit claimed the NHL was liable for Boogard’s brain injuries and addiction to prescription pain medication which led to his death. Boogard was considered an “enforcer” on the ice, and played with the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild over his six-year professional career. He died in 2011 of an overdose when he combined pain medications with alcohol. The suit contended that the NHL was aware of, or should have been aware of, the fact that Boogard was given in excess of 1,000 prescriptions by team doctors and was not following treatment protocol.

The court explained that the plaintiffs failed to prove the NHL’s negligence. Further, the parents did not legally have a right to bring the wrongful death claim because they were not the designated trustees of the estate of the deceased. In the meantime, the NHL is currently defending themselves in a class-action suit composed of over 100 former athletes. At the time of his death, Boogard had a contract with the New York Rangers, following five- years in Minnesota. He is said to have been involved in over 60 fights while in the NHL and accrued a staggering 589 minutes of penalty time. The 28-year old was diagnosed with traumatic encephalopathy, a condition where the brain is degenerating, which the family believes was caused by the many strikes to the head Boogard received during his time on ice.

The suit claims that the NHL encouraged a culture of violence which led to fights and his abuse of prescription pain pills. Derek began playing hockey at the age of five and by his teenage years he stood at 6’4”. His father regrets encouraging him to take boxing lessons, which aided his ability to fight on the ice. Derek was 6’7” and 265 pounds when he joined the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. After entering the NHL, Derek fought other players regularly, hurt his shoulder, and had back surgery—all were treated with pain medications. In 2010, Derek became a free agent and signed a contract worth $6.5 million with the Rangers. His addiction to the medications was in full-swing, and he broke his nose twice in fights. He ended up only participating in 22 games and would not return to play again. He exhibited concussion symptoms and nausea and unsuccessfully sought drug treatment. He was found dead in 2011 in a Minneapolis apartment.

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The careless and negligent actions of an individual or organization can lead to severe injuries or even death. Fortunately for those in Colorado, the Denver injury lawyers at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is a champion for injury victims who deserve much needed financial compensation. The cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning you will not owe legal fees until we secure a verdict or settlement on your behalf. Contact the office in Denver today at (303) 825-2223 to review your case.

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