Former B's defenseman files concussion lawsuit

Former B's defenseman files concussion lawsuit
July 30, 2014, 10:45 pm
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A former Boston Bruins defenseman has filed a lawsuit against the NHL due to the post-career effects of concussions suffered while playing pro hockey. John Rohloff, a 44-year-old former ninth round pick of Boston, played in 150 games for the Bruins from 1994-1997, and finished with seven goals and 32 points including a 1995-96 season when he played 79 games.

Rohloff was out of the NHL at 27 years old, and only played more than 60 games once more in his career following the stint in Boston.

Rohloff fought eight times in the career that spanned three seasons, but the 5-foot-11, 220-pounder wasn’t considered an enforcer-type.

Two groups of former NHL players filed the first two suits in November 2013 and April 2014, but Rohloff is filing the third concussion lawsuit on behalf of only himself. Rohloff’s lawsuit, filedTuesday in his home state of Minnesota, alleges he suffered “multiple head traumas during his NHL career that were improperly diagnosed and treated by the NHL.”

Rohloff also added that he was never warned of negative health effects of head trauma, and that the NHL has known about a scientific link “between sub-concussive blows and brain trauma” for nearly the entire existence of the league. That will be difficult to prove based on lack of studies and the limits of early medical technology, but Rohloff’s words carry weight in the suit filed.

“Former NHL players are uniting to send one resounding message: they signed up to play hockey knowing that they might get injured and dinged, but they did not sign up for brain damage,” wrote Rohloff in the suit.

His lawsuit is seeking medical monitoring, injunctive relief, and compensation related to chronic injuries, medical costs, financial losses, and intangible losses incurred as a result of the NHL’s alleged negligence. 

There was no indication of a monetary amount being sought by Rohloff in the filed suit.