Three men playing CHL hockey one falling under the opposing player sustaining a concussion and is filing class action lawsuit

Hockey Concussion Class Action

Robyn Wishart,  CHL hockey concussion lawyer is currently representing individuals looking to file a lawsuit for injuries they have sustained while playing hockey.

James McEwan files a notice of class action claim against the WHL, CHL, and Hockey Canada

Wishart Brain & Spine Law is representing a former Western Hockey League (WHL) player, James Johnathon McEwan. Mr. McEwan has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the WHL, Canadian Hockey League (CHL), and Hockey Canada.

McEwan played for four seasons with the WHL from 2004 to 2008. After his junior career, he played parts of five seasons with the ECHL. His final season was 2014 to 2015. Mr. McEwan was not provided adequate medical care during his hockey career. As a result, he is currently showing symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain-withering disease.

According to McEwan, fights often led to temporary confusion, black eyes, swelling, and loss of consciousness. Fights were encouraged and rewarded by coaches. Following fights medical attention was not provided. The side effects of continuous head trauma include severe anxiety, mood swings, angry outbursts, and personality changes. He also experiences severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

The claim stresses the WHL, CHL, and Hockey Canada should have known that multiple instances of untreated head trauma would lead to long-term injuries. It is being filed on behalf of all former CHL players who did not advance to the National Hockey League (NHL) and suffered an injury because of severe head trauma – including concussive and sub concussive impacts. Compensation is being sought for personal and physical injury, psychological injuries, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and loss of past and future income.

The Consequences of Repetitive Hockey Concussions

For decades, scientific evidence has linked brain trauma to long-term neurological problems.  The claim stated, “During practice and games, a CHL player can sustain close to 1,000 or more hits to the head in one season without any documented incapacitating concussion,” Several long-term consequences associated with repetitive head impacts and multiple concussions include:

  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. 

    CTE, which McEwan has showed signs of, is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes. Military veterans and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma are also at risk. In CTE, a protein forms clumps that slowly spread through the brain and kill brain cells. Symptoms include progressive memory and cognition decline, depression, suicidal behavior, poor impulse control, and dementia.

  • Dementia Pugilistica.

    This is a neurodegenerative disease, also known as punch-drunk Symptoms, are tremors, slowed movement, confusion, lack of coordination, and memory and speech problems.

  • Slower Neurological Recovery.

    Multiple concussions may be associated with slower recovery of neurological function. This means that the more head trauma someone sustains, the longer it will take for them to return to their normal level of functioning. As time goes one, the damage may become permanent.

  • Depression  There is a relationship between concussion history and diagnosis of lifetime depression. Athletes with three or more concussions are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. This mental disorder affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts. A variety of emotional and physical problems can decrease a person’s ability to function. Common symptoms include changes in appetite, sleeping issues, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Neurocognitive Impairments.

    It is likely that hockey players experience changes in cognitive function after repetitive head impacts. Symptoms like the inability to concentrate, confusion, irritability, and loss of balance may become permanent if multiple concussions are sustained. Individuals are at risk for developing lasting and progressive impairments that significantly limit function and quality of life.


Seeking Justice for Head Injury Victims

In addition to this claim, the CHL is facing class-action lawsuits in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Those claims are related to working conditions for players. At Wishart Brain & Spine Law, our lawyers are dedicated to helping athletes that need help.

If you have suffered from head trauma under circumstances like the ones discussed above, our Vancouver hockey concussion lawyers can help you file a claim. We will fight on your behalf and seek the compensation you need to cover the expenses and losses related to your injury. If you would like more information or help please contact us.