A potentially groundbreaking lawsuit filed by a former Olathe North football player returned to the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada on Wednesday.
Former Canadian Football League receiver Arland Bruce filed a lawsuit in July 2014 alleging the league didn’t adequately protect him from the adverse effects of a concussion.
The Globe and Mail reported that “parties made submissions last June, when a lawyer for the league’s nine teams applied to have the case dismissed. The case was delayed, however, after the judge suffered an illness and had to be replaced.”
Bruce told reporters on Wednesday that he is “looking for justice for all players.”
The lawyer representing the CFL teams and the former commissioner, argued Tuesday that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case, the newspaper reported. The league says Bruce was covered by a collective agreement and any grievance must go through arbitration.
According to the Globe and Mail, the CFL is not directly named as a party in the lawsuit, because it is technically an unincorporated association. But the CFL’s nine teams are listed as defendants.
Bruce said he still gets regular headaches, but his condition has improved.
“Sunlight’s not as bad as it used to be for me. But I’m improving, I’m improving a lot, man. I’m remaining positive, I don’t want to get down on myself. Because I was out of it for about eight months,” Bruce told the Globe and Mail.
According to the newspaper, the lawsuit alleges Bruce sustained a concussion while playing for the British Columbia Lions in September 2012. The suit says he was allowed to return for a playoff game seven weeks later, “despite still suffering from the effects of concussion,” and that he received multiple concussive hits during the game.
Bruce alleges he was cleared to play the next season for the Montreal Alouettes, despite “displaying the ongoing effects of concussion to medical professionals and coaching staff.”
The Globe and Mail reported that Bruce said in the lawsuit that he suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), depression, anxiety, headaches, insomnia and delusions.
“I have a son myself, so if he plays football, I want him to be aware, too, to make the game safer, and I think this is going to help make the game safer,” Bruce told reporters. “It’s going to put a lot of great minds together to come up with ideas to make the game safer so it can continue being great.”