An NHL lawyer intimated via email that long-term problems associated with head injuries should be tackled by another league dealing with concussions amongst its former players.
A 2009 communication being used as evidence in a lawsuit from former players against the NHL said that the League shouldn’t study the long-term impacts of concussions on retired players, leaving that to the NFL, another contact sport league.
This comes from NHL deputy general counsel Julie Grand to commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
“Personally, I am … least interested in [performing studies on ‘the long-term neurocognitive and psychological effects of repeated concussions among retired NHL players’ because] I’d rather focus on the here and now and leave the dementia issues up to the NFL!”
The document states “the NHL has never done a study on the long-term neurodegenerative effects of those concussive blows amongst retired players.”
The NFL settled a lawsuit with former players for near $1 billion.
This message was one of 101 documents the league agreed to de-designate after two months of negotiations. The NHL email had to do with scheduling a concussion working group meeting and some future projects for the group.
These included involving four-to-six teams whose players would wear HITS sensors over two-to-three seasons to see if the system data in regards to concussions was both “accurate and reliable”
The other projects included researching long-term impacts of brain injuries – which Grand said she was least interested in above – working with equipment manufacturers and biochemists to improve helmet design, as well as different methods of recovery from concussions.
The class action suit is being tried in Minnesota courts in which former players are saying the NHL did not do enough to inform them about the dangers of head injuries.
The NHL has indicated it has “no desire” to settle the suit.
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