The NHL is looking into meeting with former players who claim the league didn’t warn them about the dangers of multiple concussions and other head traumas. Although you wouldn’t want to bet at legal sports betting sites on the league taking overly precautious steps, they certainly will do more than the NFL thus far.
In a 19-page transcript of an Aug. 30 court hearing U.S. District Court Judge Nelson said the league was having private talks with the plaintiffs to reach a resolution.
In July, Nelson denied branding the NHL concussion lawsuit as a class-action case. Therefore, all living former NHL players are not automatically included in the lawsuit. Instead, former players will have to file lawsuits individually.
Jodi Balsam, a former NFL lawyer said it makes sense for the NHL to talk settlement after winning the class-action decision.
“They’ve won a fairly consequential pre-trial ruling,” Balsam said. “With that win, the NHL is in the best settlement posture it will be in a while. It may be the best moment for the NHL to consider settling.
“If the NHL decides to go to trial on all these cases, they still have to go through further discovery and depositions, and then prepare to try hundreds of individual cases across the country. Maybe the NHL is spread thin doing that.”
Balsam said it’s also possible that after the class-action ruling, some players may be willing to settle their claims for less than expected.
138 NHL alumni players have filed lawsuits against the league, while another 150 have hired lawyers. Former players who have filed lawsuits include Mark Hardy, John Cullen, Dan Quinn, Garth Butcher, Ian Turnbull and Bryan Berard.