Joe Murphy says there are reasons for going ahead with individual lawsuits.
"It's just ensuring that we're taken care of," he said, in a recent interview. "I think that's what the end result is."
He was one of the named plaintiffs in an effort to form a class action lawsuit by former players against the NHL. However, a Minnesota judge has ruled against forming a class, and lawyers for the players have decided not to appeal.
Murphy was the first overall pick of the Red Wings in 1986. Since retiring from the game in 2001, Murphy has found his way to the streets of Kenora.
He was one of 80 plaintiffs, who applied to the court in Minnesota for a class action lawsuit against the NHL. The former players said the league didn't do enough to warn them about the dangers of traumatic head injuries, such as concussions.
While a judge turned down the class action, it doesn't stop the individual players from filing individual lawsuits. Murphy has said he suffered 'a horrific, serious concussion' during his playing career, which left him debilitated for a lengthy period of time.
Another former player, Nick Boynton, had also applied to join the class action, saying he would scratch his name off the Stanley Cup, if it meant his symptoms would go away. Boynton describes breaking down to cry before his kids, or being unable to leave the house to visit his daughters, as a result of the injuries.
He added alcohol and drugs were there to self-medicate and relieve the pain, but rehab and self-help programs weren't enough. He has since consulted with a specialized facility in Florida, in an effort to improve his quality of life.
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