NHL, Ex-Players in Settlement Talks Regarding Concussion Lawsuit

September 05, 2018 04:16 PM

The video above is from an Aug. 30 report.

The National Hockey League and attorneys representing former players are engaging in settlement talks on a concussion lawsuit that has been pending in federal court in St. Paul for nearly four years, according to a source and court records.


Judge Susan Nelson encouraged the two sides to continue private discussions with a mediator during a status hearing last week, according to a court transcript.

Charles Zimmerman, the lead attorney for the former players, declined to comment on the settlement talks.

Attorneys representing the NHL did not return calls Wednesday and declined to comment on the status of the case last week.

More from KSTP:

Fighting Back: Former Players Battle NHL

Fighting Back: Former Players Say NHL Downplayed Concussions, Ignores Science

Fighting Back: Former NHL Player's Medical Records 'Intentionally Concealed'

While settlement talks could signify a major development in the lawsuit, Nelson also stated a need to move forward in case a settlement cannot be reached.

"I'm going to suggest that we rev things up and that you meet and confer in the next two weeks and get me a letter about where things stand because I don't want much more time to go by before we set a schedule," Nelson said in court.

Earlier this summer, Nelson denied the players' request to be certified as a class action --- which seemed to be a win for the NHL as it would have required all players to pursue their cases individually.

But last week, Nelson decided one path forward would be trying a "bellwether" case, in which one former player's lawsuit against the league would go to trial.

"The bellwether process is really designed to ... select a representative case to prepare for trial, so that there can be some more informed judgment that goes into the decision about whether to resolve the matter globally or to try these matters all over the country," Nelson said.

More than a 150 players have accused the league of downplaying the risks of concussions and long-term neurological diseases.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has previously said the lawsuit has "no merit whatsoever."



Eric Chaloux

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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