Flyers Trainers Sue Team, Allege Zamboni Chemicals Caused Rare Medical Conditions

Doric SamApril 18, 2022

MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 16:  A detailed view of the Philadelphia Flyers' logo seen on a jersey during overtime against the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Bell on December 16, 2021 in Montreal, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers organization is being sued by two long-time athletic trainers who say that they were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals throughout their tenure with the team.

According to Anthony SanFilippo of Crossing Broad, Jim McCrossin, 64, and Sal Raffa, 42, worked at the team's training facility in Voorhees, New Jersey, for the past 22 and 18 years, respectively.

SanFilippo noted that the pair filed the suit "after receiving similar medical diagnoses that they allege came from a work environment in which they were unknowingly exposed to cancer-causing carcinogens" emitted from Zambonis.

The Flyers released a statement, saying in part that the organization looked into the claims by McCrossin and Raffa and believe they "have no merit":

Charlie O'Connor @charlieo_conn

Obviously can confirm the story broken by <a href="https://twitter.com/AntSanPhilly?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AntSanPhilly</a> regarding the lawsuit filed by Flyers trainers Jim McCrossin &amp; Sal Raffa against Flyers ownership, alleging that an unsafe work environment at the Flyers Training Center led to rare medical conditions. The Flyers' statement: <a href="https://t.co/ftAMLuH41M">pic.twitter.com/ftAMLuH41M</a>

Several defendants were named in the suit, namely the multiple entities that own the Flyers. Those involved in owning and maintaining the training property were also named. The defendants face allegations of negligence, strict liability and a loss of consortium.

McCrossin and Raffa were both "diagnosed with nearly identical and incurable blood diseases and/or cancer a few months apart," per SanFilippo. McCrossin developed "essential thrombocythemia, myeloproliferative neoplasm, and the blood cancer myelofibrosis, which is terminal." Raffa developed "thrombocythemia, which is incurable and is proliferative for other blood diseases such as cancer, or inducing strokes."

The trainers say that the training room was directly against the Zamboni room, causing the carcinogenic chemicals to be ingested extensively potentially "due to inappropriate ventilation or through a shared drainage system."

The defendants in the suit have 20 days to respond to the complaint, though extensions are usually granted in cases like this.