CHICAGO (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by former Rangers winger Derek Boogaard’s parents, who blamed the league for their son’s brain damage and addiction to prescription painkillers.
Boogaard was a feared enforcer with the Rangers and Minnesota Wild. He died of an accidental overdose of pain medications and alcohol in 2011. His parents sued in 2013, alleging the NHL knew or should have known Boogaard wasn’t complying with treatment at a treatment center.
U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman dismissed the lawsuit on Monday in a 20-page opinion. The Chicago-based judge wrote that Boogaard’s parents didn’t prove the NHL was negligent.
The judge also noted the parents weren’t appointed trustees of their son’s estate, a requirement to sue on its behalf.
Derek Boogaard, who was found dead on May 13, 2011, at age 28, was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment that can be caused by repeated blows to the head, the family said in their lawsuit.
One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, William Gibbs, said Monday the NHL profited from Boogaard’s physical abilities as team doctors dispensed “pain pills like candy” after he suffered repeated injuries.
Boogaard sustained a concussion during his last game on Dec. 9, 2010. Known as one of the league’s toughest fighters, the 6-foot-7, 255-pound Boogaard played 277 NHL games, scored three goals and racked up 589 penalty minutes.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)