By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Already, the NFL is swamped by litigation in federal court from 4,336 former players, at last count, over head injuries sustained during their careers. That includes 33 Pro Football Hall of Famers. It's a problem no public relations assault or rules changes or donation spree has been able to shake. The NHL's turn is here.
Head injuries have left the NFL under unflinching scrutiny over the past year. At the NCAA level, however, the issue has escaped similar furor.
In October, a helmet-to-helmet hit spun University of Southern California wide receiver Robert Woods around 180 degrees while he was blocking on a kick return against the University of Utah.
While some may have been taken aback to watch quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Alex Smith and Michael Vick depart games with concussions last Sunday, one member of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee saw progress thanks to the league's return-to-play guidelines.
Denali National Park officials say a hiker photographed an Alaska grizzly for at least eight minutes before the bear mauled and killed him.
Over the past 11 months, 2,397 former players have have sued the NFL over concussions, according to a review by The Washington Times of the 90 lawsuits filed through June 14. The plaintiffs, including 19 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, combined to play 168,020 NFL games.
"Boogaard's lawsuit could be a potential game-changer," said Paul Anderson, a Kansas City attorney who tracks concussion lawsuits at NFLConcussionLitigation.com. "It could have far-reaching implications not only to Boogaard's case in particular, but to all NHL players generally. I think this could be the first step toward the next wave of the NHL concussion litigation."
"The way the lawsuit is framed, there's no doubt it has the potential to not only seek remedies for Derek," Anderson said, "but it can definitely set the stage for former NHLers to start filing concussion lawsuits."