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US court denies NHL motion to dismiss retired players’ concussion lawsuit

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, seen in a January 2016 file photo. The NHL is facing a class-action lawsuit over head injuries suffered by former players.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, seen in a January 2016 file photo. The NHL is facing a class-action lawsuit over head injuries suffered by former players. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Humphrey

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal judge in Minnesota has denied the NHL’s latest attempt to throw out a class-action lawsuit by former players filed over head injuries.

READ MORE: Emails reveal Bettman, NHL execs discussed how concussions affect hockey players

The league had argued that the suit should be tossed because the issues raised by the former players were covered under the collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wrote in a 47-page opinion that the CBA does not pre-empt legal action, in part because the players are retired and no longer subject to the CBA.

READ MORE: Concussion triples suicide risk, Canadian doctors warn

Dan LaCouture, Michael Peluso, Gary Leeman, Bernie Nicholls, David Christian and Reed Larson represent former players who say the NHL did not sufficiently protect or inform the players of the dangers when it comes to head injuries they suffered when they played.

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