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Yukon man sues player, refs for hockey injury

WHITEHORSE - A Yukon man who suffered a concussion during a heated game of no-contact hockey is suing two referees for failing to keep the game under control, as well as an opposing player who the man alleges was responsible for his injuries.

Hugo Bergeron of Whitehorse has filed a lawsuit against player Ronald (Gus) Morberg and referees Adam Briggs and Phil Borgel.

A statement of claim says Bergeron's team, the New Age Drilling Warriors, faced off against Morberg and the Murphy Built Southern Lakes on Oct. 22, 2012, for a game in a no-contact hockey league.

The game became increasingly "aggressive, heated and chippy," the lawsuit says, but few penalties were called. After the first period, at least one player warned the referees that someone would become injured if they didn't call more penalties to bring the game under control, the lawsuit says.

During the second period, Bergeron and Morberg became entangled in a fight for the puck when, the lawsuit alleges, Morberg checked Bergeron from behind, sending him falling forward onto the ice. Bergeron struck his head on the ice and suffered a concussion, the lawsuit says.

Morberg initially received a penalty, which was later upgraded to a game misconduct once the extent of Bergeron's injuries became clear, the lawsuit says.

"The negligent conduct by the defendant Morberg was not part of the game of hockey and did not meet the applicable standard of care of a player in the CARHA (Canadian Adult Recreational Hockey Association) league," the lawsuit says.

The statement of claims also alleges Briggs and Borgel, the two referees, "failed in their duty to ensure a safe playing environment."

"The referees, as officials of CARHA, are responsible for ensuring that all games played are done so in a safe and respectful manner," the document says.

Neither Morberg nor the referees could be reached for comment.

Bergeron's lawsuit says he suffered traumatic brain injury, soft-tissue damage to the neck and back, and psychological injuries, including problems with his memory, depression and anxiety.

Bergeron claims the concussion has resulted in a loss of earning capacity, "enjoyment of life" and "homemaking capacity."

(Whitehorse Star)

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