Hockey helmet suit dismissed in B.C.

A Victoria, B.C., family whose son suffered permanent brain damage when he slammed into the boards during a game has lost its lawsuit against Canada's largest manufacturer of hockey helmets.

A Victoria, B.C., family has lost its lawsuit against Canada's largest manufacturer of hockey helmets.

The More family claimed their son Darren, 17, suffered permanent brain damage while wearing a hockey helmet made by Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.

More hit his head against the boards at a midget hockey game in Esquimalt, near Victoria, in 2004. He cannot care for himself and has the emotional capacity of a six-year-old, the B.C. Supreme Court was told.

The Mores sought $10 million in damages from Bauer, saying its 5000-series helmet did not offer adequate protection. It also claimed neither Bauer nor the Canadian Standards Association offered enough warning to consumers about the risk in wearing the helmet.

Two previous concussions

But the judge ruled there were several warnings attached to the helmet itself, which informed consumers that serious injury may occur despite its use. 

In his written decision, Mr. Justice Malcolm Macaulay found Darren was aware that people suffer head injuries, even when wearing a helmet.

"Darren himself suffered two previous concussions playing hockey, while wearing a helmet, but like hundreds of thousands of other Canadians, chose to play anyway," Macaulay wrote.

The judge dismissed the Mores's claim and ordered the family to pay the legal costs for Bauer and the Canadian Standards Association.

Neither the Mores nor their lawyer could be reached for comment.


With files from the CBC's Lisa Cordasco