Arland Bruce files grievance against CFL, five teams

With his legal options exhausted, former CFL player Arland Bruce has filed a grievance against the league and all five teams he played for during his 14-year career, according to a report in the Ottawa Citizen.

From the story:

Bruce, 40, is seeking compensation for loss of past and future wages, plus ongoing medical and rehabilitation costs.

The grievance was filed electronically on Thursday with the CFL, the CFL Players Relations Committee, the B.C. Lions, Montreal Alouettes, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Bruce’s lawyer, Robyn Wishart of Vancouver, said there had been no response as of Friday afternoon.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in March that it would not hear Bruce’s case as he attempted to sue the league over concussion trauma. Two lower courts in British Columbia had previously dismissed the suit, saying unionized employees must use labour arbitration – not the courts – to resolve disputes that arise from their collective agreement.

Bruce started in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2001 and finished his career in 2014 as a member of the Montreal Alouettes after stints with the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and B.C. Lions.

He argued that he sustained “permanent and disabling” repetitive head trauma as a player. In court documents, Bruce says he continues to suffer post-concussive symptoms, including depression, paranoia, delusions and other medical issues.

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, the Canadian Football League Players’ Association filed a grievance against the CFL and all nine member clubs alleging that the league and its teams “have failed and continue to fail” to protect players from brain injuries and concussions.

The CFLPA is asking the arbitrator to “fully compensate” injured players, implement policies and rule changes to reduce injury and seek coverage under provincial workers’ compensation plans.

– with files from CP