Multiple sources confirmed Flyers director of medical services Jim McCrossin and assistant athletic trainer Sal Raffa have filed legal action on team ownership regarding their cancer diagnoses.
Anthony SanFilippo of CrossingBroad.com first broke the story Monday.
McCrossin has myelofibrosis, which is a rare type of blood cancer, along with essential thrombocythemia and myeloproliferative neoplasm. A source close to the situation said myelofibrosis comes with a dark comparison to a “death sentence.”
Raffa also has the rare blood disease thrombocythemia, which has no cure.
Per the complaint, which was obtained by NBC Sports Philadelphia, the law firm Kline & Specter has filed a suit against Comcast Spectacor — which owns the Flyers — among others, including Flyers Skate Zone. According to the complaint, they are suing for counts of negligence, strict liability and loss of consortium.
In the complaint, it states that the office of McCrossin and Raffa at Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, New Jersey, was adjacent to the Zamboni room and subjected to dangerous and excessive emissions from carcinogen-emitting equipment and/or machinery.
In the complaint, it claims that the “defendants knew or should have known that the Zamboni machine(s) in use at the Flyers Training Center could and did in fact emit carcinogens, which may have included but are not limited to benzene, aryl hydrocarbon receptor particulates, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, particulate matter 2.5 (“PM2.5”), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, formaldehyde, and/or certain dioxins & dibenzofurans.”
McCrossin is in his 25th season with the Flyers and Raffa his 16th.
Over the years, throughout hockey, more and more Zambonis have become electric.
Below is a statement from the Flyers sent to NBC Sports Philadelphia regarding the lawsuit:
“The safety of our employees and guests at the Flyers Training Center and all of our facilities is always a top priority for us. We have looked into the allegations made by Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa over the course of several months, and, based on that, believe that their claims have no merit. Beyond that, we cannot comment further given that this matter is in litigation.”
Below is Kline & Specter’s statement of Tom Kline, Jim Waldenberger and Elia Robertson, sent to NBC Sports Philadelphia via Waldenberger:
“Jimmy McCrossin and Sal Raffa are beloved figures in Philadelphia sports and it is our honor to represent them. Their cancer diagnoses are tragic and their exposure to toxic compounds in the workplace was unnecessary and preventable. We look forward to seeking justice for them in this very important case.”
Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Wells Fargo Center back in November must have held extra meaning for McCrossin and Raffa. In this picture of defenseman Nick Seeler admiring cards on the wall of the Wells Fargo Center hallway from the ice to the home dressing room, you can see a card each for McCrossin and Raffa near the bottom right.