NFL Concussion Litigation Objection Filed- Retired NFL Players Object to Proposed Settlement
On Wednesday, July 2nd, a group of seven former NFL football players filed a formal objection in the NFL concussion litigation regarding the proposed concussion lawsuit settlement, in which the NFL allegedly uncapped settlement amounts for players who suffered concussions while playing for NFL teams, but which has numerous “fatal defects” that “render it anything but fair.”
The 47-page objection was filed in the US District Court of Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 2nd, and focuses on the NFL Concussion litigation settlement’s limits on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) compensation, as well as a 75% reduction in payments to former players who suffered a concussion, traumatic brain injury, or stroke unrelated to game play. The objection also shows that the proposed concussion lawsuit settlement is “false or misleading” because it does not indicate that players diagnosed with CTE or traumatic brain injury after the settlement’s approval are not eligible to receive funds related to the concussion lawsuit.
“The revised settlement is a great deal – for the NFL and class counsel,” who would get $112.5 million in attorneys’ fees, the players’ motion said. “It is a lousy deal for the retired players, whose rights have been bargained away without adequate or independent representation.”
Although the settlement suggests that the NFL will pay an unlimited amount of money for players that suffer serious side-effects from concussions caused by playing on professional football teams, the objection suggests that there are many details buried deep in the new settlement that can stifle a retired player’s ability to receive compensation for their concussion injury. For example, players that fail to register within 180 days of notice of the settlement are ineligible for any benefits in the concussion settlement, and it would take $1,000 to appeal the decision with the NFL.
“Investigation of the facts through discovery of the NFL’s internal files could yield powerful and compelling evidence of the NFL’s culpability — strengthening class counsel’s hand at the negotiating table,” the players observed in their objection brief. “Yet class counsel settled this case without taking a single deposition and without the NFL producing a single document.”
However, the proposed settlement covers all retired players who suffer concussion injuries, regardless of whether or not they joined the original NFL concussion lawsuit, as long as they do not opt out.
In August last year, the NFL offered a preliminary settlement amount of $765 million for retired football players suffering from a specific type of brain condition related to repeated concussions sustained while they played professional football; the amount set aside $5 million per injured player, based on specific concussion-related brain injury diagnosis.
However, on January 13th, US District Judge Anita B. Brody rejected the proposed settlement, because both the National Football League and the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that the sum was enough to cover medical expenses for all affected retired players – a number which could reach 20,000 claimants.
The Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a concussion after an automobile accident or injury from a defective product, it is not too late to get help. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer free consultations to discuss the incident that led to traumatic brain injury and determine if you have a personal injury case. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.