Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

New Jersey Devils 'Wrongly Withheld' Medical Docs in Concussion Case

The case of Mike Peluso, the former NHL player on the infamous New Jersey Devils "Crash Line" filed a workers' compensation claim in California in 2012. The claim is a result of the repeated concussions he sustained while being one of the team's most prolific enforcers. Recently, it has come to light that Devils' administration withheld crucial medical documents and information from Peluso, both while he was an active member of the team and as part of his workers comp claim.

Peluso, who is only 50 years old, now suffers from dementia, as well as a condition that causes him to have seizures, and numerous other symptoms relating to memory and brain function. His doctors assert that the condition was caused by the repeated concussions, and that he should have been warned about the extreme danger of continuing to experience head traumas.

Significant Medical Documents Withheld

In 1994, after suffering a seizure while exercising, a neurologist provided a report to the team's administration that contained a strong warning that more head trauma could cause further injury and brain damage. That report was never provided to Peluso, although both the team doctor and coach did receive it.

After receiving the information, Peluso was allowed to continue playing, and even got into over 100 fights after the team doctor and coach were aware of the risk. This document, and another medical report indicating the danger of continuing to play, was not discovered until May 2016. The attorney handling the class action matter against the NHL for similar injuries sustained by other players provided the documents to Peluso's attorney.

According to the attorneys for the Devils, apparently they claim that one of the reports was not provided inadvertently because it was stuck to another document. However, no explanation was provided about the 1994 report warning about further head trauma leading to further injury and brain damage.

Related Resources: