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Judge rejects NHL attempt to dismiss concussion lawsuit

A federal judge in Minnesota has denied the National Hockey League’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former players accusing it of not doing enough to protect players from concussions.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled Wednesday that the plaintiffs “adequately alleged that the NHL negligently or fraudulently omitted information about the dangers and risks of repeated head trauma, the dangers of returning to play or practice hockey until proper evaluation and treatment has been administered, and the data that demonstrated the existence of such dangers and risks.”

Baltimore-based Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White LLC is a co-lead counsel of the multidistrict litigation along with firms from Minnesota and Florida. In a statement, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said they were pleased with Nelson’s ruling.

“It is time for the NHL to be held accountable for deliberately ignoring and concealing the risks of repeated head impacts, and finally provide security and care to retired players whom the League has depended on for its success,” the lead lawyers said in a statement.

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.

The lawsuits against the NHL are similar to the ones that were filed against the NFL and NCAA.

The case is In re: National Hockey League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551-SRN.