Denna Laing of the Boston Pride fell hard and awkwardly into the boards during the Women's Outdoor Classic in Foxboro on New Year's Eve. Some speculate that she stepped on a stick, others say she was on the receiving end of incidental contact that caused her to lose her footing. Some say the quality of the ice may have not been up to par (something that several Habs and Bruins players commented on when they practiced on the very same surface just a few hours before the women took to the ice).
While what caused her to fall could have seemed irrelevant until now, it may have just become a very important issue.
Laing is reportedly suing the NHL, the NWHL, the CWHL and the New England Patriots (who own Gillette Stadium, where the game was played). According to the New York Post, the players signed a waiver prior to the game, but "that was based on the ice being in playable condition."
The Patriots seem like an odd addition considering the NHL took control of the rink building, but as the owners of where the incident took place, can hold some liability.
While this may seem strange, this is often par for the course. While insurance is in place to pick up the tab for things like medical bills, it doesn't necessarily cover things like rehabilitation, or loss of wages in the event of an injury that prevents the athlete from ever playing again, or even limiting their off-ice career options.
It's even possible that Laing has been instructed to sue the leagues by her insurance provider. Incidents like that have been reported on, but each incident is different.
As per InjuryClaimCoach, "[d]amages include medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses for medicines, crutches, etc., and pain and suffering (emotional distress)."
Players, meanwhile, continue to show their support for Laing:
Both the NWHL and CWHL declined to comment on the reports when reached by EOTP.