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Baltimore firm to co-chair NHL concussion litigation

A Baltimore law firm has been selected as co-lead class counsel in a lawsuit brought by former National Hockey League players accusing the league of not doing enough to protect players from concussions.

Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White LLC will join law firms from Minnesota and Florida as heading the multidistrict litigation, according to an order signed last week.

Silverman Thompson filed the first case of its kind in November in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of 10 ex-NHL players. More than 200 players have now joined three lawsuits, which have been consolidated in federal court in Minneapolis.

Silverman Thompson joins Boca Raton, Florida-based Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd LLP and Zimmerman Reed PLLP in Minneapolis.

The lawsuits against the NHL are similar to the ones that were filed against the NFL and NCAA. Silverman Thompson’s lawsuit alleges the league’s rules and medical protocols have been “superficial and ineffective” in preventing concussions and that the NHL hid the risk of head injuries to players, including an increased risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Alzheimer’s. The lawsuit also claims that while the NHL crated a concussion program to study brain injuries in 1997, no reports were produced and no rule changes were made, with the players relying on the league’s “silence.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Silver Thompson’s original lawsuit is Leeman, et al., v. National Hockey League, et al., 1:13-cv-01856-KBJ. The multidistrict litigation is In Re: National Hockey League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551.

About Danny Jacobs

Danny Jacobs is the legal editor at The Daily Record. He previously covered trial courts at the state and local levels and served as web editor.