A lawsuit filed against the National Hockey League by the parents of former Minnesota Wild player Derek Boogaard has been dismissed by a Federal judge in Chicago, according to news reports Monday afternoon by the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.
Boogaard was 28 years old when he died in 2011 of a drug overdose in Minneapolis. He established his reputation for hockey fighting while playing for the Wild from 2005 until 2010 before finishing his career with 22 games for the New York Rangers. In 277 games, Boogaard scored three goals and had 579 penalty minutes.
The Boston University School of Medicine studied Boogaard's brain after his death and said it had Stage II chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the lawsuit said, “as a result of repeated blows to the head during his hockey career
The Sun-Times reported U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman ruled that "claims made by Boogaard’s parents, Len and Joanne Boogaard, were governed by Minnesota law. That state requires a wrongful death lawsuit to be brought by 'a court-appointed trustee,' the judge wrote. And he pointed out that Boogaard’s parents are 'personal representatives' and not 'trustees,' and it’s too late for them to correct that."
Feinerman also ruled there would have been other reasons to dismiss the suit. In a Chicago Tribune report, the judge stated that Boogaard's family "also failed to provide proof that the NHL was negligent, either by promoting violence in the game or hiding a growing body of evidence on the long-term effects of concussions on its players."
The judge's opinion added, however, that the dismissal should not be seen as support for "how the NHL handled Boogaard's particular circumstances — or the circumstances of other NHL players who over the years have suffered injuries from on-ice play."