(CBS) — Just like football, hockey is a physical and powerful sport, but with players hitting pucks at well over 100 mph, is enough being done to protect fans?
CBS 2’s Dave Savini sat down with a Blackhawks fan who suffered brain damage and hearing loss.
At least three people were injured since 2013 at the United Center, including a Yorkville man who may never be the same.
Chip Green suffered a severe head injury. He was struck by a puck during a Blackhawks playoff game against Minnesota in May.
The 43-year-old husband and father of four can no longer do math, has trouble formulating words and suffered hearing loss.
For his wife, Michele, the hardest part has been “watching him struggle.”
The couple wants the NHL to make safety changes. To keep fans safe, the Greens say safety nets should be expanded to cover the corners of the rinks, too.
Chip Green was sitting just above the safety glass where the netting ends when he was struck by a corner shot from Blackhawks star Duncan Keith.
It’s not the first time a fan has been injured.
Patricia Higgins of Burr Ridge was hit last year while sitting in a corner. A third person, Jen Kasler, was also struck while in a corner last season.
Chip Green can no longer work.
Colin Dunn of Clifford Law Offices is Green’s attorney. He says the NHL installed nets after a girl died at a game in a Ohio a decade ago. But those nets do not protect fans from high-speed corner shots.
“Folks who are sitting in those areas are in grave danger,” he says.
Green, who loves the Blackhawks, was sent a stick, a signed jersey and s letter from Keith.
What he really wants is more safety netting.
Green’s attorney filed a lawsuit Thursday against the United Center and NHL, which has not responded to CBS 2’s request for comment.
A spokesperson for the United Center says the venue adheres to or exceeds all safety standards and guidelines in accordance with rules governing all NHL arenas. The Blackhawks organization, which is not named in the suit, did not comment.