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Second class-action lawsuit filed against NHL over head trauma

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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A second lawsuit against the National Hockey League from a collection of former players was filed in a US District Court in New York.

This suit is similar to the first -- which has more than 200 plaintiffs now -- in that it is a class-action complaint against the NHL seeking damages for the league's treatment of players and more specifically the dangers that of head trauma.

The case as of now stands as Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer, Jack Carlson, Richard Brennan, Brad Maxwell, Michael Pelus, Tom Younghans, Allan Rourke and Scott Bailey vs. the NHL. In the introduction of the suit they spell out the thrust of the complaint.

The above-captioned plaintiffs ("Plaintiffs") bring this class action complaint against the National Hockey League (the "NHL"). Plaintiffs seek damages, including punitive damages, and equitable relief on behalf of a class of all former and current NHL players as a result of the NHL's unlawful exploitation of its players. Through the sophisticated use of extreme violence as a commodity, from which the NHL has generated billions of dollars, the NHL has subjected and continues to subject its players to the imminent risk of head trauma and, as a result, devastating and long-term negative health consequences. The NHL has failed and continues to fail to warn its players of these risks and consequences of head trauma, concealing material scientific and anecdotal information from its players. The NHL has failed to institute policies and protocols that could have and will protect its players from suffering or exacerbating head trauma sustained during practice or in games.

Of course that's just the start in this suit, which makes the plaintiffs' case.

In the entire document they detail ways in which the NHL is culpable with regard to head trauma and its "exploitation" of players. Included in that is a passage about the great Gordie Howe way down on Page 52.

Gordie Howe ("Howe") is one of the greatest NHL players ever. Howe played in the NHL from 1946 until 1980. Howe's accolades may never be surpassed, even by fellow NHL Hall of Fame inductees. However, Howe was nicknamed "blinky" due to the lasting effects of head trauma he suffered during a game. In 2009, Howe died from the neurogenerative disease known as "Pick's disease."

Uh oh. Howe is very much still alive and it's 2014. It was his wife that died of Pick's disease in 2009. So that doesn't look very good. There's also Sidney Crosby's name being misspelled as Sydney early in the document. Not necessarily ideal with such an important suit.

The suit also outlines how Russel Crowe's role in Gladiator relates to hockey (seriously) and points out that Jason Vorhees wore a hockey mask in Friday the 13th (double seriously).

Issues aside, the crux here is the suit itself, the second of a similar nature against the NHL in the past year. Sports lawyer Eric Macramalla explains a bit more on why there is a new, different suit.

Makes you wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg ... still.

One of the plaintiffs, Jack Carlson, is brother to the Hanson Brothers from Slapshot fame. He was supposed to join his two brothers in the role but was called up from the minor leagues and so a third, non brother filled the role. Of course the Hansons, even if fictional characters in the movie, were as violent and aggressive as it got.

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