Former Devil Mike Peluso's lawsuit says team hid extent of his head injury

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Former New Jersey Devils forward Mike Peluso claims in a lawsuit that the team hid the true extent of a head injury he suffered in 1993.

During a game against the Quebec Nordiques on Dec. 18, 1993, Peluso was injured in a fight against Tony Twist that resulted in a concussion.

The suit says Peluso has suffered "nine grand mal seizures, early onset dementia, total and permanent disability in the workplace, all signs of being afflicted with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), as well as other severe neurological and psychological impairment."

Also named in the suit is former general manager Lou Lamoriello, former team doctors Barry Fisher and Len Jaffe, as well as the team's contracted neurologist, Dr. Marvin Ruderman.

The legal action was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.

A report by Dr. Ruderman in 1994 said Peluso "should not sustain any further trauma to his head or he will suffer additional seizures and long-lasting brain damage," according to the suit.

Following Peluso's first grand mal seizure, the defendants did not inform the player or take any actions to protect him, the court filing claims. It also states that medical reports were hidden from teams Peluso later played for.

In a 2015 interview with, Peluso said, "It's how they threw me out onto the ice. I'd had a grand mal seizure and Dr. Fisher handled the situation and said I was good to go. I heard [trainer] Teddy Schuch say, 'I don't think he's ready,' but Teddy was overruled by Dr. Fisher."

Peluso's NHL career ended in 1998.

Peluso is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

The team declined comment to NJ Advance Media.