Family of Derek Boogaard File Wrongful Death Suit Against NHL

On the two-year anniversay of his passing, the family of the late Derek Boogaard have filed a wrongful-death suit against the NHL. In the complaint, the family argues the NHL is responsible for the physical trauma and brain damage Boogaard suffered during his six NHL seasons and his addiction to pain killers.

Williams Gibbs, attorney for the Boogaard family, has this to say when questioned about the lawsuit (via New York Times)

“…you take a young man, you subject him to trauma, you give him pills for that trauma, he becomes addicted to those pills, you promise to treat him for that addiction, and you fail.”


The defendants listed in the complaint are the NHL, NHL Board of Governors and Gary Bettman. The Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers are NOT among the defendants.

The family is not looking for a large monetary sum for themselves. Rather, “a sum in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limit” for each of eight counts in the suit.

– It's just extremely sad to read about. On the grounds of not keeping Boogaard safe and failing to monitor his situation, I think the family has a very valid argument. You cannot blindly give any player prescription after prescription of prescription drugs. Period.

– However, It'll be tough to prove the NHL is responsible for Boogaard's physical trauma which was entirely voluntary. 

– What you hope for out of this decision is a much stricter, tougher policy in regards to prescribing medication, that way there's not another Derek Boogaard situation in the future. 

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