Under the pending concussion settlement, the estate of Dave Duerson, a star safety for the Bears in the 1980s, will be eligible for a multi-million-dollar payout. His heirs may end up getting little or none of the money.
According to Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times, steps were taken to reopen Duerson’s bankruptcy case after news emerged of the proposed settlement, which could pay Duerson’s estate up to $4 million.
Five months before committing suicide in 2011, Duerson filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of $14.7 million in liabilities. Less than $20,000 in assets were collected.
Bankruptcy trustee Marcia Dunn contends that a potential claim against the NFL was not listed among Duerson’s assets.
Lawyers representing Duerson’s family expressed confidence that the effort to re-open the bankruptcy case is a non-issue. If it’s not a non-issue, it could keep them from getting much if not all of Duerson’s share of the settlement proceeds.
The concussion settlement was announced on August 29, with all retired players having “severe cognitive impairment” eligible for compensation. A hearing before Judge Anita Brody for the purposes of granting preliminary approval to the $765 million deal and creating a timeline for future developments had been set for October 28, but it has been postponed. As a practical matter, final approval wouldn’t be given to the settlement until 2014.