Derek Boogaard had CTE when he died, a brain ailment associated with repeated blows to the head.
But his parents were unable to prove the National Hockey League was negligent, so their unlawful death lawsuit was thrown out of court. A Chicago-based judge avoided any discussion about a different, class-action lawsuit that has been filed against the league for its concussion protocol.
Derek was born in Saskatoon and grew up in Regina. He died six years ago at the age of 28 from an accidental overdose of alcohol and medications. His parents believed the pounding he took as an NHL enforcer, plus the medications he was given by team doctors, who didn’t monitor him correctly, caused his death.
Although the Boogaard’s lawsuit was dismissed, it doesn’t mean their son didn’t suffer psychological damage from his hockey career. As the medical profession works to prove a definitive link between sports-related head injuries and CTE, and pro leagues ultimately try to make their games safer, Derek Boogaard’s name will certainly be mentioned again.