Dead Hockey Enforcer's Family Sues NHL
Lawsuit blames league for Derek Boogaard's death
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2013 3:19 AM CDT
Updated May 13, 2013 5:33 AM CDT
In this Nov. 4, 2010 photo, the Philadelphia Flyers' Jody Shelley, left, and the New York Rangers' Derek Boogaard fight during an NHL hockey game in Philadelphia.    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

(Newser) – The NHL has been hit with a wrongful-death lawsuit from the family of New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died two years ago this week from an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and alcohol. After his death, the 28-year-old was found to have suffered brain damage from a disease caused by repeated blows to the head, and the lawsuit blames the league both for the brain injuries and Boogaard's addiction to painkillers.

The lawsuit says the NHL "breached its duty" to Boogaard by failing to suspend or discipline him after he failed drug tests, and by allowing and encouraging him to play—and fight—in the same game even after receiving concussions. "To distill this to one sentence you take a young man, you subject him to trauma, you give him pills for that trauma, he becomes addicted to those pills, you promise to treat him for that addiction, and you fail," a lawyer for the Boogaard family tells the New York Times.

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May 16, 2013 12:23 PM CDT
I went to a fight and a Hockey game broke out!
May 13, 2013 11:23 AM CDT
If a baseball player has their head thrown at and they attack the pitcher, both parties are suspended If an NFL football player decides to be an enforcer and attacks another player, they are suspended If an NBA player attacks another player, they are suspended. When is the NHL going to catch up? Fighting and hockey are two different things. There's a reason why boxers have to wait so long in between fights, and there's a reason why MMA fighters don't fight every week. Let professional fighters do the fighting, and let hockey players, play hockey.
May 13, 2013 10:03 AM CDT
They have no case. If he died from just the prescription painkillers, then maybe they would have a case. but he chose to mix them with alcohol. He should have rolled a phatty.