NHL concussion lawsuits consolidated under Minnesota judge

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A federal panel ruled Tuesday that all NHL concussion-related lawsuits will be consolidated into one case and heard by a federal judge in Minnesota.

The Associated Press says three lawsuits filed by over 200 players will be consolidated together, with more NHLers expected to file lawsuits in the near future.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation assigned the cases to U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul because it provides a central location to where the plaintiffs and witnesses live, the New York Times reports. Many of the players who are part of the lawsuits are from Canada, Minnesota, New York and Washington, reports say.

Nelson is already presiding over one of the concussion lawsuits, The Associated Press notes.

Last fall, NHL players filed the first class-action lawsuit against the NHL, which can be read here. The lawsuit alleges the NHL knew about the dangers of concussions and failed to do enough to reduce the risk of head injuries, as well as educate players about the risk of concussions, Grantland reported last November.

Since then, two more lawsuits have been filed against the NHL. The second lawsuit, which has been criticized for factual inaccuracies, was filed in New York in April.

In July, a Minnesota-based law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Minnesota-born player Jon Rohloff, Twin Cities Business Magazine reports. Read that complaint here, which alleges the NHL "promotes, regulates, and profits" from violent conduct, including fighting, but doesn't inform players of the risk.

The AP says similar cases are pending, which could be added to the consolidation order later.

The NHL lawsuits are similar to those filed on behalf of former NFL players, which resulted in a settlement worth more than $870 million. The NCAA agreed to a $70 million settlement in another concussion lawsuit.

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