On June 25, 2014, my partners from NBO Law and I attended the NHL Concussion conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Present were several dozen retired NHL players and representatives from the three law firms who have filed NHL Concussion Lawsuits. As you are aware, our law firms Namanny, Byrne & Owens (NBO) and Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White (STSW) were the first to file the Concussion Lawsuit on behalf of many former players.
The agenda at the conference included concerns and questions as to whether the NHL teams, or its Board of Governors, would retaliate against players who join the lawsuit by reducing or taking away their pension benefits. Please be advised that the NHL or its Board of Governors cannot alter or eliminate retired NHL players’ pension. Should they do so, they open themselves up for civil liability as well as potential governmental scrutiny under ERISA. (Click here to see our Advisory Letter on the Pension Plan).
Neurosurgeon Dr. Ahlman gave an excellent presentation and provided information for players about the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Dr. Ahlman recommended that all former players and their spouses keep a diary of all behavioral changes, including but not limited to: being argumentative or irritable, experiencing mood swings, depression, changes in sleeping habits, fatigue, hearing loss, forgetfulness, and headaches. These changes may all be symptoms of brain injury.
We intend to conduct similar conferences throughout the country in the coming months. We hope that many former NHL players will attend a conference close to their home. We encourage players to continue to educate former teammates about post-concussive syndrome (click here to find out more on post-concussion syndrome).
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR FORMER TEAMMATES
We urge all players to contact former teammates to alert them to the players’ pension concerns and Dr. Ahlman’s suggestions and list of potential symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.