- Date: March 15, 2012
- Victim’s Age: 29
- Victim’s Sex: Male
- Occupation: N/A
- Place: Ottawa, Ontario
- Circumstances: opposing team player body-checked him
- Injuries sustained: traumatic brain injury
- Compensation: $702,551
Sport injury incident
A 29-year-old played hockey in a senior men’s league in Ottawa. On March 15, 2012, during one of the last games of the season, he sustained serious injuries from illegal contact. He had released the puck and was coming around the back of the net when a player from the opposing team came from behind at a fairly faced pace and body-checked him. The player came in with his hands raised and his shoulder made contact with the man’s face. The impact of the hit knocked him to the floor, and he hit his head and briefly lost consciousness. When he gained consciousness, he felt a headache and was dizzy and had lots of pain on the left side of his face.
Injuries from the incident
The ambulance arrived and according to the paramedic’s report, he was alert upon arrival and had small cuts near his nose, mouth and on his chin. His two front teeth were chipped in half. He was diagnosed with a concussion and brought to the hospital. At the hospital, they did a CT scan that came back normal. He also got a few stitches on his face and chin. His symptoms from his concussion were headaches and he was sleeping a lot more than he usually did.
The symptoms remained persistent for a few weeks, and this worried his doctor. His doctor sent him for a second CT scan in mid-April. Moreover, he went to see a neurologist in May who diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury with a concussion. When he went to see her again in September, he reported trouble focusing and had some forgetfulness. The neurologist referred him to a rehab center. The doctor at the rehab center assessed him and found that he has decreased productivity and cognitive performance and had persistent headaches and moderate depression. He started to improve but still a year after his injuries he was experiencing issues with short-term memory and concentration.
He could not work for the first 4 months following the incident but then returned to work part-time. However, his life has been seriously altered since the incident. He suffered permanent damage to his brain and does not play sports much anymore and lacks motivation.
Liability of the player
The judge found that the player who hit him was liable for the injuries that resulted. The player had intentionally skated at a high speed towards the man at an angle where the man would not see him coming. Then he positioned his arms and body to maximize bodily contact hitting the man’s face with his shoulder and forearms. The player could have avoided the collision as he was a very skilled player.
Furthermore, the league in which they were playing was a recreational non-contact league. Body contact is punishable as a major penalty in the league. All players testified that body contact was still anticipated and was an assumed risk in the league. However, blindside hits especially to the head were strictly prohibited. The judge concluded that the player had either intentionally attempted to injure the man or was reckless about the possibility of the injury that would occur. The players who testified stated that blindside hits to the face were outside the bounds of fair play, therefore the judge found the player 100% liable for the injuries to the man.
Compensation for the victim injuries
He was awarded a total of $702,551 in damages. He received $63,000 in general damages, $199,512 in loss of past income, and $440,039 for future loss of income.
If you have been injured while playing sports contact our lawyers at Equilibrium Law for a free consultation.