New Lawsuit Against Blackhawks After Spectator Injury

Published on May 17th, 2019

In August, we highlighted a lawsuit brought by a woman struck by a hockey puck at a Chicago Blackhawks game. It’s happened again, this time to Chip Green, of Yorkville, Illinois, who suffered brain injuries from which he may never fully recover. He is the third person to be injured by a stray puck at a Blackhawks game in less than two years.

At a game in May, 2014, the puck flew over the safety glass surrounding the rink and struck Green in the head. He now says he cannot do math and has experienced hearing loss and difficulty with language. He can longer work to support his family. His lawsuit against the NHL and Chicago’s United Center seeks $200,000 in compensation. The suit also asks that the team be required to improve its safety netting to protect fans.

The arena’s safety netting was also called into question in the previous suit against the Blackhawks, when it failed to shield a victim seated in the 11th row. The NHL mandated safety netting throughout the league in 2002, after the death of a spectator. The NHL had been slow to adopt safety netting, though it had been in use in Europe and in other hockey leagues long before 2002. Now it seems that the nets, which are 30 feet high, are not high enough, at least in the United Center.

Attending sporting events, from NASCAR races to baseball games, can come with some risk, but the repeated accidents at Blackhawks games seem unusual. It remains to be seen whether the franchise’s failure to improve safety after two previous similar incidents will become a factor in Chip Green’s lawsuit.

If you have been a victim of the negligent behavior of others, you should seek the compensation and damages to which you are entitled, both to help you recover and to protect others in the future. The Chicago and Waukegan law firm of Ryan, Ryan & Viglione has experience handling all types of accidents and injuries. For an immediate, free assessment of your claim, call us today at (847)416.1989.

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