YardBarker- “Discovery is necessary to shed light on the nature of Plaintiffs’ claims, when those claims accrued, and which — if any — CBAs might be relevant. If a full record ultimately reveals that Plaintiffs’ claims accrued while they were subject to a CBA, and that those claims are substantially dependent on interpretation of the CBA, then the Court could properly determine that the claims are preempted by labor law preemption. In the meantime, however, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is premature and must be denied.”
“District Judge Nelson’s order denying the NHL’s motion to dismiss on preemption grounds is an historic decision in American sports [and] labor law. We are thankful that retired NHL players will be permitted to continue to pursue their claims that the NHL withheld critical information about the risk of long-term neurological consequences from repetitive head trauma.
“Thousands of retired NHL players continue to suffer from the effects of head injuries suffered on the ice. The time is now for the NHL to take a leadership role in the international game of hockey and strive to ensure that retired players and their families receive the assistance they need and that the parents of youth hockey players receive truthful information about head trauma.”
What's that they say, there's no such thing as a dumb question? The NHL probably already knew the answer but it doesn't hurt to ask and make sure. After all, knowledge is power and with the amount of negligence they displayed they can use all the power they can get their hands on at this point. The NHL might be actively trying to trivialize the amount of significant, dangerous head injuries that it's employers have incurred on their watch, but you probably would to if you were them. Going to court to argue against every player that has the slightest bit of long term brain damage from a sport as physically demanding as hockey sounds MISERABLE. Might not be the most commendable action to attempt to get the entirety of the case thrown out to - ironically enough - save themselves the headache, but it would have - ironically enough - bothered them forever if they didn't.
It's kind of like going to church as a kid. You know it's probably immoral to incessantly beg to stay home, but the payoff of playing video games on a Sunday morning is worth the inherent blasphemy. If getting out of sitting in front of a judge and jury for days on end when you are almost certainly guilty is wrong then I would NOT want to be right. I consider myself an ethical person, but if it saves me enough money I'll make sure my moral compass is pointing in the polar opposite direction. With the amount that the NHL is sure to have to shell out in serious, life long damages, it would be simply irresponsible if they didn't do everything possible to stay away for litigation. Even if their desperate, shot in the dark proposal does make them look like terrible, horrible, no good, very bad people.