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Judge throws out Derek Boogaard wrongful-death lawsuit

Boogaard died of an overdose in 2011.
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A federal judge in Chicago dismissed the wrongful-death lawsuit against the NHL on Monday.

The lawsuit filed by the parents of former Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard, alleged the NHL promoted on-ice violence that led to his 2011 death from an overdose of painkillers prescribed by NHL doctors.

In a 20-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said Boogaard's parents don't meet the requirements set out in Minnesota state law that require wrongful death lawsuits to be filed by a court-appointed trustee. Boogaard's parents are "personal representatives," with Feinerman noting they've had plenty of chances to seek being appointed trustees.

Feinerman also wrote there were other reasons to dismiss the lawsuit, noting they failed to prove the NHL was negligent.

Feinerman may have sided with the NHL, but he wasn't too happy with how the league has handled cases like Boogaard's, writing: "Although judgment is entered in the NHL's favor, this opinion should not be read to commend how the NHL handled Boogaard's particular circumstances – or the circumstances of other NHL players who over the years have suffered injuries from on-ice play."

More on the lawsuit

Boogaard died on May 13, 2011, in Minneapolis after overdosing on painkillers. He was 28 years old.

An autopsy later found Boogaard had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a brain disease that's thought to be caused by brain trauma, like repeated blows to the head, the New York Times reported.

Boogaard's parents filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2013, The Associated Press says, alleging that the NHL promoted violence, which caused Boogaard to get into fights. Those fights resulted in his CTE and addiction to painkillers.

The lawsuit said Boogaard was given more than 1,000 pills by team doctors, and the NHL should have known players with brain damage – especially enforcers like Boogaard – were more susceptible to becoming addicted to painkillers, according to the Chicago Tribune,

The wrongful death lawsuit by the Boogaards isn't the only one the NHL has faced in recent years. Dozens of former players have filed a class-action lawsuit against the NHL in Minnesota federal court, alleging the league failed to warn players about the dangers of head trauma.

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