Former NHL defenseman Bryan Berard is suing the league, claiming it “failed to protect him from brain injuries during his 12-year career,” according to TMZ.
In the lawsuit, Berard is reportedly claiming he suffered “repetitive brain injuries” during his time in the NHL, which have resulted in serious medical problems.
TMZ reports that Berard says the NHL had a duty to “cease their patent glorification of, and profiting from, fist-fighting and violence in the league.”
“The time has come for the NHL to not only care for those former players on whose backs and brains the league reaped billions of dollars, but also finally to put long-term player safety over profit.”
Berard says he sustained at least five concussions and became blind in one eye during his career. The blindness he’s referring to was due to a taking a stick to the eye during a game in 2000 when Marian Hossa clipped him with an errant follow-through.
The suit says he is filing in memory of “the late Jeff Parker, a former NHL player who was posthumously diagnosed with having Stage 3 CTE,” according to TMZ.
Dozens of retired NHL players have already pursued legal action against the NHL in a lawsuit similar to that involving the NFL and thousands of former players, which was recently settled for an estimated $1 billion. The NHLer’s took a loss in regards to their suit last month when a federal judge denied class-action status.
Berard, who suited up in 619 regular season NHL games with the Islanders, Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets, Bruins, Blackhawks and Rangers, is suing for an unspecified amount of damages.
The former No. 1 overall pick was forced to retire in 2008 after parts of 10 NHL seasons.