The NHL was hit with another concussion lawsuit Friday.
Lawyers for former players Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton filed suit, seeking to hold the NHL, which they dubbed the “League of Denial,” accountable for “withholding information” from players about the hazards of head injuries.
Both Carcillo and Boynton claim they suffered repeated head injuries during their NHL careers and were never warned about the risks of concussions. The players claim they were “allowed or encouraged” to play through head injuries and return to the ice immediately after suffering them.
In 2013, the first class action lawsuit was filed against the NHL by more than 20 former players claiming the league kept them in the dark about the dangers of concussions. That lawsuit is ongoing and will be joined by the Carcillo suit in Minnesota district court.
Carcillo has railed against the NHL for years since the sudden death of his friend and former teammate Steve Montador in 2015. Montador’s brain showed signs of the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is common in people who play collision sports. In recent weeks, Carcillo has become more vocal on the issue, publishing a series of columns and videos for The Players’ Tribune and on his personal social media accounts.
The NHL did not respond to a request for comment on the Carcillo and Boynton lawsuit.
Carcillo played nine NHL seasons as an agitator for the Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. Boynton’s career as a defenseman spanned nine seasons with the Boston Bruins and the Blackhawks.
It was recently reported that Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, in a deposition for the original concussion lawsuit that was conducted the same year that Montador died, said he was not familiar with CTE.
“Why won’t the NHL acknowledge the reality that participating in their league increases a player’s risk for long-term brain damage? Why won’t the NHL step up and take care of those that have had the damage done to their brains? Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton are demanding accountability from the NHL,” William Gibbs of Corboy & Demetrio, their lawyer, said in a press release.
Gibbs also represents the estates of Montador, former NFL player Dave Duerson, who killed himself and was later diagnosed with CTE, and more than 100 former pro athletes involved in concussion litigation.
“The NHL is long overdue in acknowledging the significant risks inherent in their style of game,” Gibbs said. “Daniel Carcillo, Nick Boynton and others have seen, first-hand, how playing in the NHL can cause CTE.”
The NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman continue to deny any connection between hockey and head injuries, even though evidence experts at Boston University have said they’ve shared information with Bettman they believe establishes such a link.
“The evidence clearly supports that CTE is associated with ice hockey play,” the experts said.
Carcillo wrote on Twitter Friday that the reason why he filed the lawsuit was to “continue to apply pressure to (people) in charge of providing care to current & former players.”