Jul 10, 2018

Torts: Traumatic Head Injury From Professional Sports 

Bruce v. Cohon, 2017 BCCA 186 (CanLII)
The Applicant played professional football for various teams in the Canadian Football League.  He claims he suffered concussions when playing for the B.C. Lions in 2012, was showing continued symptoms in 2013, while playing for the Montreal Alouettes, and continues to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, depression, paranoia, delusions, headaches and other problems. He brought an action in damages against the B.C. Lions Football Club Inc. and Compagnie Club de Football des Alouettes de Montreal for negligence, failure to warn and negligent misrepresentation. He argued they knew or should have known he should not play while displaying the ongoing effects of concussion and they denied the proven link between repetitive traumatic head impacts and cognitive brain injury, downplayed the dangers and concealed information about technology to record and report head trauma. He brought similar claims of negligent misrepresentation against the CFL and its member clubs and its commissioner. The Respondents defended the claim on the basis the matter must be the subject of a grievance and arbitration. The B.C. S.C. struck the Applicant’s claim in its entirety, holding the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the case since the dispute was one that had to be resolved through the grievance and arbitration process under the collective agreement. The B.C.C.A. dismissed the appeal. 'The application for leave to appeal...is dismissed with costs.'