Suit: Stray hockey puck injured fan during Blackhawks playoff game
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A man is suing the NHL and the United Center after he was hit in the head with a hockey puck during a Chicago Blackhawks home playoff game last May, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in the Cook County Circuit Court.
Gerald and Michelle Green were seated in the northwest corner of the rink in the second row as the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Minnesota Wild on May 2, 2014, according to the lawsuit.
Gerald Green was struck in the head by a puck that flew at a high rate of speed, causing a “severe neurological injury,” the suit claims.
Patricia Higgins was struck in the face by an errant puck during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 12, 2013, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Higgins was seated behind the safety net in section 115, which is in the southwest corner of the stadium, the Sun-Times previously reported. Higgins filed her own lawsuit last July.
In 2002, the United Center erected netting in an effort to protect its fans, the suit said. According to the suit, the NHL and the United Center were aware that spectators had been seriously injured or killed by hockey puck shots.
Green was seated in an area behind protective glass and the spectator netting, the suit said.
But the NHL and the United Center failed to re-assess the netting height and type to prevent spectators from being struck by pucks shot out of the rink, the suit alleges. Green also claims he was not warned of the serious risk associated with being hit with a hockey puck.
Green’s four-count lawsuit claims negligence and seeks at least $200,000 in damages.
Calls made to the NHL and United Center were not immediately returned Thursday evening.