The family of former NHL player Steve Montador, who died earlier in the year as reported by the Inquisitr, says that they plan on filing a lawsuit against the professional hockey league. A recent autopsy found that Montador had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disorder associated with multiple concussions, ESPN reported.
An attorney for the family, William Gibbs of the Chicago-based law firm Corboy & Demetrio, said in a statement:
“The Montador family’s suspicions have been confirmed: Steve Montador’s 35-year-old brain was decaying due to the head hits he endured during his NHL career… CTE has afflicted yet another young athlete and his family. It is heartbreaking that such a vibrant young man sustained such monumental brain damage while playing a professional sport.”
The NHL responded, saying in a statement about the death of Montador:
“The NHL family shares in the sorrow of one of our own losing his life prematurely, and our thoughts, condolences and prayers remain with Steve’s family and friends… However, we do not agree that the reports and allegations made today establish any link between Steve’s death and his NHL career.”
Montador had arranged after his death to have his brain studied to determine if he had truly suffered from CTE, the Chicago Tribune reported. Montador had his brain donated to the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at the Krembil Neuroscience Center in Toronto, Canada.
Montador’s father, Paul Montador, said about his son:
“A couple of weeks before he passed away… he said to me, ‘Dad, I know I can have a really positive impact on people’s lives, and that’s what I’m going to do… We were both pretty excited about that. He didn’t know exactly what that meant, but it was going to drive his overall strategy to define the next great thing.”
Montador’s father continued, saying:
“He wasn’t going to know the results, but he wanted to contribute to the advancement of science… He wanted to make that contribution… for the betterment of other athletes that have suffered concussions.”
After he was found dead in his Ontario home in February, his brain was autopsied. It was confirmed that he had indeed suffered from CTE. According to the Canadian Sports Concussion Project:
“Montador’s autopsy results showed the widespread presence of CTE throughout his brain. Prior to his death, Montador suffered from depression, erratic behavior and problems with his memory.”
Paul Montador said about his son:
“Steve was just a terrific young man… The outpouring of affection by his friends, the descriptions of him as a true friend through thick and thin… the stories are endless. Those are the things that give myself and my family some strength moving forward.”
[Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Sport]