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A federal judge in Chicago on Monday dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit against the National Hockey League.
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago by Len and Joanne Boogaard, the parents of former professional hockey player Derek Boogaard, who died because of an addiction to painkillers.
Mr. Boogaard played hockey for the NHL for six years, first for the Minnesota Wild and eventually for the New York Rangers. His role on the team was an “enforcer/fighter,” according to the lawsuit. He fought opposing players and a result he suffered brain injuries, which eventually developed into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the lawsuit claimed. He routinely suffered other painful injuries, and team doctors treated his symptoms with opioids. In May 2011, he accidentally overdosed on Percocet and died at age 28, according to court documents.
U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman dismissed the lawsuit, finding that Mr. Boogaard’s parents failed to respond on the merits to the NHL’s argument that the league did not proximately cause his injuries, and failed to prove negligence. He also ruled that Mr. Boogaard’s parents never filed as trustees of his estate.
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.