In some respects, the concussion lawsuits arise from a desire to get fair compensation for former players who suffered real injury as a result of the NFL’s alleged negligence. In other respects, the concussion lawsuits arise from a desire on the part of the lawyers to get paid.
There’s no other way to explain the fact that lawyers have been contacting former players like Packers CEO Mark Murphy and NFL senior V.P. of player engagement Troy Vincent. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the efforts to recruit Murphy and Vincent to sue have occurred repeatedly.
It’s no surprise, given the efforts that came to light last year to get more and more former players on board. “There is strength in numbers!” former NFL player and broadcaster Sean Salisbury wrote last year in an email encouraging players with any lingering concussion symptoms to join the litigation.
The lawyers have a clear financial motivation to add as many former players as possible. The cost of adding names to a list of thousands is relatively minimal; the potential fee (at 33 percent, typically, of anything recovered) can go up exponentially if enough players join the parade.
While persons with real injuries resulting from real liability have the right to pursue relief, the lawsuit industry results in warped motivations and blurred ethical lines, and I continue to be reminded in situations like this that I don’t miss practicing law, at all.