June 11, 2013 — The National Hockey League (NHL) is facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Derek Boogaard, an “enforcer” for the Rangers and Minnesota Wild. The family alleges that the NHL is responsible for Boogaard’s brain injury and wrongful death. After playing six seasons, Boogaard died of an unintentional prescription painkiller overdose and an autopsy revealed he had a severe brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Boogaard played 277 hockey games for the NHL and was involved in at least 66 fights. In 2010, he signed a $6.5 million contract with the Rangers after playing five seasons for the Wild. During this time, his family alleges that he suffered dozens of concussions, including a major concussion during a fight in Ottawa in December.
After each of these injuries, Boogaard’s family alleges that he was given “copious amounts of prescription pain medications, sleeping pills, and painkiller injections by NHL teams’ physicians, dentists, trainers, and staff.” After surgeries on his shoulder and nose, he was also given hundreds of narcotic painkillers and at least 13 injections of Toradol.
In April 2011, Boogaard underwent drug rehabilitation for the second time. The next month, on May 13, Boogaard died of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and alcohol.
An autopsy revealed that Boogaard had a severe, degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The disease is similar to Alzheimer’s, but it is caused by repeated head trauma. Although researchers are still investigating symptoms, they may include confusion, dizziness, headaches, poor judgement, dementia, addiction, and abnormal behavior.
The National Football League (NFL) and other sports organizations are also currently facing wrongful death lawsuits involving players who were diagnosed with CTE after death. Unfortunately, because CTE can only be diagnosed after death, no one knows how many athletes are currently living with this disease.
Do I have a Brain Injury Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting brain injury induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured or killed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Personal Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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