Brain injury causes wrongful death is the allegation made in a law suit filed by the family of Derek Boogaard. Boogaard was a so-called "enforcer" in the National Hockey League. Over the course of his playing career he suffered significant physical trauma and brain damage. In addition he probably inflicted considerable physical damage and brain damage on other players. He played for a total of six (6) seasons as one of the league's top enforcers. During the course of his career he became addicted to prescription pain killers.
The autopsy showed that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy. That is a brain condition caused by repeated trauma or blows to the head.
The lawyer for the Boogaard family claims that this case comes down to a simple instance of where the league took a young man and made him an enforcer, subjected him to significant trauma and then gave him pills to deal with the trauma. He became addicted to those pills and then they refused to treat him.
Brain injury attorneys are well-familiar with the idea of repeated trauma causing either discrete or sometimes diffuse brain injuries which can have lifelong effects.
Suing the NHL for Wrongful DeathThe suit filed on behalf of the Boogaard family is aimed at the National Hockey League. It sets forth the fact that team doctors and counselors of the league's substance abuse and behavioral program oversaw Boogaard's care and did little if anything to deal with his apparent addiction. In July of 2010, after five seasons of play, Boogaard signed a four-year $6.5 million contract with the Rangers. His last game was on December 9, 2010 when he suffered a concussion. This was one of dozens of concussions. This particular concussion was during a game in Ottawa.
Overall, Boogaard played in a total of 277 NHL games over six seasons. He scored only three goals. He fought at least 66 times on the ice. He was essentially fed large amounts of prescription pain pills, sleeping pills and given injections by team physicians, dentists, trainers and staff in order to deal with the pain associated with the trauma. The suit further alleges that Boogaard was given at least 13 injections of Toradol, a masking agent for pain, in the last two years of his career. This suit further alleges that Boogaard was given 150 pills of Oxycodone over 16 days by doctors.
He Became Addicted to Narcotic Medication
The suit further alleges that the NHL breached its duty to Boogaard. In particular the NHL is alleged to have failed to monitor his prescriptions, failed to establish any proper procedures for administering or tracking the prescriptions, knew that he was failing drug tests and knew that he had admitted to obtaining pain killers illegally. Yet they continued to feed him more medication and continued to utilize his skills as an enforcer or league "thug" to promote the interest of the NHL.