A Famous NHL Player’s Death…Was it Wrongful?

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No matter the circumstance, losing a loved one is one of the hardest situations to go through in life and can be traumatic to say the least. However, if the death was caused by the negligence of another party, the grief can be exceptionally harder. Wrongful deaths in New York often involve fatal car accidents, but may involve many other types of death, such as: medical malpractice, occupational accidents or criminal behavior.

A key example is that of Derek Boogard. Derek Boogaard, one of the National Hockey League’s top enforcers for six seasons, died of an accidental overdose to painkillers in May 2011. The family of the late New York Ranger has filed a lawsuit against the National Hockey League, claiming that it is liable in the hockey player's death. 

Boogaard was only 28 and was found to be suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head. According to the suit, the hockey player was provided copious amounts of prescription pain medications, sleeping pills, and painkiller injections by N.H.L. teams’ physicians, dentists, trainers and staff” to combat the injuries and pain he endured.

Additionally, the suit alleges that Boogaard was given at least 13 injections of Toradol, a masking agent for pain, in the last two years of his career, by doctors of at least seven N.H.L. teams. The suit also says that Boogaard was prescribed 1,021 pills from about a dozen doctors during the 2008-9 season, and at the end of that season, after operations on his nose and his shoulder, doctors prescribed the young player 150 pills of oxycodone over 16 days.

The Suit against the N.H.L. was filed in time to beat the two-year statute of limitation for wrongful-death cases in New York and certain other states to ensure that this case will be eventually seen in front of a judge and have its day in court.

However, many individuals are not so lucky. If a loved one has passed away as a result of another party’s negligence, contact an attorney today. Wrongful death cases in New York State are incredibly complex and time consuming. An experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference and help ensure you receive the representation you deserve. 

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