10 former NHL players sue league over concussions

Bruce Bennett

10 former NHL players have sued the league, claiming that they concealed the dangers of brain trauma.

Ten former NHL players filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington Monday, claiming that the NHL "purposely concealed the risks of brain injuries faced by players," the Associated Press reports.

ESPN reported the names of the ten players, whose careers spanned three decades, from 1970 to 1997.

  • Gary Leeman, 667 NHL games from 1982 to 1997.
  • Darren Banks, 20 NHL games from 1992 to 1994.
  • Curt Bennett, 580 NHL games from 1970 to 1980.
  • Richie Dunn, 483 NHL games from 1977 to 1989.
  • Warren Holmes, 45 NHL games from 1981 to 1984.
  • Bob Manno, 371 NHL games from 1976 to 1985.
  • Blair Stewart, 229 NHL games from 1973 to 1980.
  • Morris Titanic, 19 NHL games from 1974 to 1976.
  • Rick Vaive, 876 games from 1979 to 1992.

A similar lawsuit between the NFL and a group of more than 4,500 players was settled in August, with the NFL paying $765 million to that group. This is obviously a much smaller group of players, but it is a class-action suit, meaning that more players can sign on. Just 75 players initially filed the NFL suit, so it's likely that more NHL players will sign on here.

Many of the claims are similar, namely, that the league not only knew about risks of brain injury, but purposefully kept those risks from players, exposing them to further danger.

Concussions and player safety in general have been a hot topic in the NHL of late. Gary Bettman is on record saying that the league has taken steps forward in terms of concussion awareness and player safety, but Monday's lawsuit points out that the NHL has not placed an outright ban on fighting, seen as a chief cause of concussions in hockey.

The full lawsuit can be viewed here:

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