The counsel representing retired players in the NHL concussion litigation released a statement Thursday following arguments on the NHL's motion to dismiss the case.
"This case is about providing security and care to former NHL players who have been subjected to repeated head impacts, which the League deliberately ignored and concealed the risks of for decades," the statement read. "We do not believe the NHL is entitled to complete immunity for exposing its players to devastating neurological diseases and disorders. The time has come for the NHL to take responsibility, and care for former players whom the League has depended on for its success."
The NHL is facing a lawsuit from about 40 former players about its concussion policy and protocols.
The players feel the League didn't do enough to educate and protect them. The League fired back by filing in a Minnesota court that the players should have put "two and two together" about the inherent dangers of playing a sport in which the head is targeted by pucks, sticks, hits and fists.
In documents obtained by TSN Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead in early December, lawyers for players including Joe Murphy, Bernie Nicholls and Gary Leeman rubbish the NHL's claims, saying players had "no knowledge of the medical literature, and no understanding of any need to go find it because they relied on the NHL for information about player health and safety."
"Whether players could have accessed information in the public sphere is a red herring," the players say in court filings. "By representing that the NHL was the caretaker of player safety and was responsible for researching concussions... the NHL was telling players not to look for or believe what the NHL now says the players should have researched and understood."
In December, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated that the League didn't believe the lawsuits had any merit.