Family of deceased player Montador sues the league

Tue Dec 8, 2015 7:36pm EST
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(Reuters) - The family of deceased NHL player Steve Montador is suing the league, charging that it failed to properly inform him about the risk of long-term brain damage, according to papers filed in U.S. federal court in Chicago on Tuesday.

Montador, found dead in his Toronto-area home in February at age 35, played 10 seasons in the National Hockey League with six teams and the defenseman sustained 15 documented concussions during his career, according to the statement of claim.

The suit, filed on behalf of his son, Morrison, and other family members by the player's father, Paul, said Montador suffered from depression, memory problems and erratic behavior and engaged in 69 on-ice fist fights during his NHL career.

"During regular season NHL games, preseason NHL games, NHL practices and morning skates prior to NHL games, Steven Montador sustained thousands of sub-concussive brain traumas and multiple concussions, many of which were undiagnosed and/or undocumented," the suit claimed.

The league has not yet filed a statement of defense.

"The NHL continues to ignore the lasting problems caused by multiple head traumas suffered by its players," Paul Montador said in a statement sent to The Sports Network.

"Tragedies like that of my son Steven will continue until the problem is addressed. The NHL knows, but denies, that years of repeated head injuries cause long-term brain problems."

Montador played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres during his NHL career.