The numbers of injuries in the National Hockey League (NHL) are adding up — to a total of $200 million per year according to recent study. Canadian-led research presented to the American Academy of Opthalmology showed eye injuries alone, (caused mostly by pucks or sticks), cost NHL teams more than $3-million a year. The same study reported that the cost could be four-times less if all players simply wore visors. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital was quoted saying, “employers are morally responsible for protecting their employees.”
A separate Toronto based medical team has taken the medical data and expanded the issue into the economics against physical risks of professional hockey to the entire body of the NHL player (head, shoulders, knees, toes, abdomen, and groin). The professional hockey team franchises are still liable to pay for benched players with signed contracts. The grand total is well over $200-million a year.
The study by the Toronto medical team indicated that half of all players in the NHL take time out to heal from game related injuries every year. The rate of injuries for leg or foot injuries accounted for approximately $70-million (about 30% of all injuries). Head and neck injuries were costing the NHL about $60-million and shoulder, groin, and arm, hand, chest, and abdomen injuries were costing about $15-million to $27-million per category per year. Not surprisingly, head injuries were found to constitute the longest absence from play.
The message of the study is two-fold, the players need to be better protected, but NHL owners also need to do a better job of protecting their athletes, both for the players sake, but also because the owners can’t afford not too.
The personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law have the experience you need, when you need legal counsel. If you have received injuries in the course of doing your job, call us today.