MANHATTAN (CN) - The National Hockey League encourages violence between players and fails to protect them from head injuries, nine players claim in the second class action against the league in the past 6 months.
"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," lead plaintiff Dan LaCouture says in the 117-page federal lawsuit.
The players claim the NHL "vectored a culture of extreme violence and packaged the spoils to adoring fans."
"Ultimately, the NHL has successfully extracted prolific sums of money exploiting its players through extreme violence for many decades," to the tune of $3.3 billion as of 2012, according to the lawsuit.
In short, the NHL failed to protect its players from injuries during practice or in games, the lawsuit states.
In addition to LaCouture, plaintiffs include Dan Keczmer, Jack Carlson, Richard Brennan, Brad Maxwell, Michael Peluso, Tom Younghans, Allan Rourke and Scott Bailey, all of whom claim to have suffered brain injuries while on the ice.
Ten players sued the league in November 2013 in District of Columbia Federal Court, in a complaint that closely tracks similar charges made by NFL players, including accusations that the league "inserted itself" into medical studies to downplay the effects of repeated head trauma.
The players seek compensatory and punitive damages for negligence, intentional harm and fraudulent concealment.
They are represented by Samuel H. Rudman with Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, of Melville, N.Y.