In February, Montador was found dead at his home in Ontario, and although the cause of death has yet to be announced, on Tuesday his family announced plans to sue the NHL for wrongful death, the New York Times is reporting.
John Branch of the Times says Montador’s brain was found “to have widespread chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the disease associated with repeated hits to the head.” He is the fifth former player known to have CTE, joining Reg Fleming, Rick Martin, Bob Probert and Derek Boogaard. The disease can only be diagnosed after a person has died.
“The finding of widespread C.T.E. in Steven’s brain helps us all better understand that his brain was ravaged by disease and he was unable to control it,” Montador’s father, Paul, said in a statement.He added: “He always knew that there might be black eyes, broken bones and soft tissue injuries — but he never anticipated that playing the game he loved would result in such devastating impairment of his brain function.”
Boogaard’s family also has a wrongful-death lawsuit pending against the NHL. In 2011, Boogard was found dead of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and alcohol. A group of 70 NHL players also has a lawsuit pending against the league, “accusing the N.H.L. of concealing the risks of concussions,” the Times writes.