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Former National Hockey League players are entitled to copies of redacted independent medical exams related to workers compensation claims for head trauma, a federal judge in Minnesota has ruled.
A class action lawsuit against the NHL brought by more than 100 retired professional hockey players, including Dan LaCouture and Mike Peluso, alleges that the league didn't do enough to protect players from concussions.
In April 2015, nearly two years after the lawsuit was filed, the players served Chubb Corp. (now Chubb Ltd.), the NHL's workers comp insurer since 1994, with a subpoena seeking documents related to workers comp claims filed by hockey players for head trauma or brain disease since 1967, according to court records.
Chubb argued that divulging such information would violate players' rights to privacy and place “a significant economic burden” on the insurer, records show.
However, U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday found that the players are entitled to redacted, anonymized versions of the independent medical exams in Chubb's possession.
“Chubb shall redact all personal identifying information of the retiree” from the independent medical exams, such as name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, team, current occupation and injury date, according to records.
“Any questions regarding whether any particular items of information in an (exam) could lead to the identification of the retiree shall be presented to Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron in Minneapolis for resolution,” records show.
Insurers are suing the National Football League to obtain “relevant factual information,” such as depositions of league officials and third-party physicians, to help them build defenses against the uncapped class action settlement approved by a federal appeals court last month.