Boogaard family sues NHL for son’s death

May 14, 2013

The family of a National Hockey League player who died of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the NHL, blaming it for brain damage he suffered as an enforcer and for his addiction to prescription painkillers.

Derek Boogaard, who was found dead on May 13, 2011, at age 28, received a posthumous diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment that can be caused by repeated blows to the head, according to the 55-page lawsuit filed in Cook (Ill.) County Circuit Court late Friday.

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.

“The NHL drafted Derek Boogaard because it wanted his massive body to fight in order to enhance ratings, earnings and exposure,” Gibbs said. “Then, once he became addicted to these narcotics, the NHL promised his family that it would take care of him. It failed.”

Boogaard’s mother echoed that sentiment. “He was there protecting his teammates at all costs, but who was there to protect him?” Joanne Boogaard said in a statement release by her attorneys. . . .

Veteran NHL coach Mike Keenan signed a two-year contract to coach the Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. The 63-year-old Keenan led the New York Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup title and has more than 600 wins during a 25-year career with eight teams.

pro football

The Washington Redskins have signed two of their seven draft picks to contracts, the team announced. Outside linebacker Brandon Jenkins, a fifth-round pick out of Florida State, and safety Bacarri Rambo, a sixth-rounder out of Georgia, both signed their rookie contracts on Monday.

Jenkins’s salary for this season will count for roughly $449,125 against the cap, and Rambo’s cap figure is roughly $430,788 for the 2013 season. The team has second-rounder David Amerson, third-rounder Jordan Reed, fourth-rounder Phillip Thomas, fifth-rounder Chris Thompson and seventh-rounder Jawan Jamison left to sign.

— Keith McMillan

The Minnesota Vikings will have a translucent roof and moveable front windows on their new $975 million downtown Minneapolis stadium, replacing the 31-year-old Metrodome, which the team will vacate after the 2013 season. . . .

Buddy Nix, 73, is stepping down as the Buffalo Bills’ general manager, the team said. . . .

The Kansas City Chiefs hired former Nevada coach Chris Ault, the innovator of the Pistol offensive formation that has swept through the NFL, to serve as a special consultant. . . . Longtime Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith has begun serving a six-year prison term in Mississippi for drug possession and weapons charges, online state corrections records show.

horse racing

Orb has settled into the place reserved for royalty at Pimlico Race Course — Stall 40.

The Triple Crown hopeful arrived at Pimlico in Baltimore, five days before the Preakness. He was immediately taken to Stall 40 at the Stakes Barn, which traditionally serves as home to the Kentucky Derby winner.

Some of the greatest horses in history have been kept there, including Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978). “I can’t believe how proud I am,” trainer Shug McGaughey said.

misc.

LeBron James and Memphis guard Tony Allen headline the NBA all-defensive first team. Allen received 53 points in the voting, while the Miami Heat star had 52. Each player had 25 first-team votes from the NBA’s 30 head coaches.

The two were joined on the first team by Clippers guard Chris Paul (37 points), Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (46), Knicks center Tyson Chandler (24) and Bulls center Joakim Noah (24). . . .

Manchester City fired manager Roberto Mancini, exactly a year after he delivered the club’s first English league title in 44 years. The Italian paid the price for Man City’s failure to build on its position of strength. The club is set to end the season without a trophy after losing the FA Cup final and exiting the group stage of the Champions League for the second straight season. . . .

Crystal Palace will play Watford in a playoff for the final Premier League promotion spot at Wembley Stadium on May 27 after winning, 2-0, at Brighton in the second leg of their playoff semifinal. . . .

Virginia Tech is adding a women’s golf program, with competition starting in the fall of 2015. It will become the school’s 22nd intercollegiate athletic program. . . .

Virginia softball coach Eileen Schmidt resigned after six seasons.

— From news services

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