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Wrongful death in sports figure case may interest Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania sports fans may be interested in learning of a wrongful death suit filed by the family of a former NHL player. The facts in this case are similar to numerous wrongful death cases filed against the NFL. In each instance, there are allegations that the leagues knew about the connection between brain injuries and continual collisions, yet urged players to play through their pain.

This player was only 28 years old when he died. According to a news report, his death was attributed to alcohol and accidentally overdosing on pain medication. After his death, he was also diagnosed with 'chronic traumatic encephalopathy.' This condition may have been caused by continual head injuries over the six years he played hockey. His family claims he was only signed to the team as protection for his teammates on the ice, never to score.

Reportedly, as a result of so many injuries, he had been prescribed over a thousand types of pain killers from various doctors and had become addicted to them over the years. His family contended he was a known pain medication abuser and to ignore this condition was grossly irresponsible on the part of the NHL, who wanted to keep him playing for the revenue and ratings he generated. One of the reasons for the lawsuit, the family maintains, is to keep the practice of overlooking injuries and freely dispensing pain medication from happening to other players.

Wrongful death, whether in Pennsylvania or in any other state, can be traumatic on the family members and friends left behind. Families usually seek financial compensation but they may also be like this family, in not wanting others to go through the devastation they themselves have had to go through. There is hope that lawsuits such as this one will help prevent that.

Source:, "Boogaard family sues NHL for son's death," Jon Krawczynski, May 13, 2013

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