Former Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom is suing the National Hockey League (NHL) team for medical expenses he says resulted from a series of injuries he got on the ice. After signing a four year, $10 million contract with the Predators in 2013, he only played 185 games for the team before they bought out his final year of the contract in 2016. The buyout resulted in Nashville paying Nystrom $2 million of the remaining $3 million they owed.
The lawsuit states that Nystrom injured himself three times while playing with the Predators: hurting his hip and leg on Sept. 3, 2013; suffering a concussion on Nov. 15, 2013; and injuring his back on Jan. 12, 2014. Each of these injuries have had their toll on his body and has also resulted in a permanent partial disability as well. In addition to the medical benefits and legal fees, Nystrom is requesting a financial settlement to compensate him for the impact the injuries have had on his life and career.
Eric Nystrom had to call it quits for his NHL career mostly due to the injuries he suffered with the Predators. Therefore, he is looking for workers’ compensation, which is a system that pays monetary benefits to workers who become injured or disabled in the course of their employment. Each state has their own rules as far as what is included in workers’ compensation and what benefits are appropriate. Tennessee law, which is the state the lawsuit is being held in, states, “If your compensable injury results in a permanent reduction in your ability to perform work for which you are suited by education, age and training, then you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. The decision on whether to offer you a permanent disability benefit will be reached after reviewing the recommendations of your treating physician.”
Nystrom’s attorney said it is frequent and appropriate for professional athletes to ask for and receive lifetime medical benefits for treatment related to sports injuries because Tennessee law allows it. Hopefully Eric Nystrom receives the compensation he believes he deserves and will help him live the rest of his life off the ice.