The Norman Transcript

National Sports

May 14, 2013

Family sues NHL for son’s death

CHICAGO — The family of a National Hockey League player who died of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the NHL, blaming it for brain damage he suffered as an enforcer and for his addiction to prescription painkillers.

Derek Boogaard, who was found dead on May 13, 2011, at age 28, was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment that can be caused by repeated blows to the head, according to the 55-page lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court late Friday.

One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, William Gibbs, said Monday the NHL profited from Boogaard’s physical abilities as team doctors dispensed “pain pills like candy” after he suffered repeated injuries.

“The NHL drafted Derek Boogaard because it wanted his massive body to fight in order to enhance ratings, earnings and exposure,” Gibbs said. “Then, once he became addicted to these narcotics, the NHL promised his family that it would take care of him. It failed.”

Boogaard’s mother echoed that sentiment.

“He was there protecting his teammates at all costs, but who was there to protect him?” Joanne Boogaard said in a statement release by her attorneys.

The lawsuit says the NHL couldn’t claim ignorance about the consequences to Boogaard.

“Prior to and during Derek Boogaard’s career, the NHL knew, or should have known, that the Enforcers/Fighters in the NHL had an increased risk of brain damage due to concussive and sub-concussive brain trauma and were particularly susceptible to addiction issues,” it says.

Boogaard scored only three goals in his six-season career in 277 regular season games but took part in at least 66 on-ice fights; in the 2008-2009 season with the Minnesota Wild, he received 1,021 prescriptions from NHL team physicians, dentists, trainers and staff, the lawsuit says.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Garcia ties record with a round of 61

    AKRON, Ohio — Sergio Garcia doesn’t know anything about being in a zone. He had no trouble identifying the best round of his career....

    August 2, 2014

  • All-Star Paul George carted off court after leg injury

    LAS VEGAS — Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George suffered a gruesome right leg injury late in the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage Friday night....

    August 2, 2014

  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams plan to rely more on running game as Bradford returns to form

    ST. LOUIS — Regardless of how quarterback Sam Bradford’s knee responds following an ACL tear and subsequent surgery during last season, the St. Louis Rams planned to lean heavily on their running game in 2014....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rodgers still acclimating to new targets

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Even star quarterback Aaron Rodgers had has a learning curve at the start of training camp....

    August 1, 2014

  • Larson set record, takes pole at Pocono

    LONG POND, Pa. — Kyle Larson had one more celebration left during his birthday week, setting a track record of 183.438 mph to win his first career Sprint Cup pole Friday at Pocono Raceway....

    August 1, 2014