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Retired players express “overwhelming support” for settlement

O.J. Brigance, a former special teams player for the Baltimore Ravens, presents the AFC trophy to his former teammates after they defeated the New England Patriots in the NFL AFC Championship football game in Foxborough Reuters

An attorney involved in the $765 million settlement of the concussion lawsuit that retired players brought against the NFL says that the vast majority of retired players support the settlement.

“We have received overwhelming support for the settlement,” Seeger said on a conference call discussing the settlement today.

Some retired players will choose not to accept the settlement and pursue their own separate litigation against the NFL, but Seeger said he doesn’t think many players will follow that course. And Seeger added that there’s no point at which a large number of opt-outs would cause the settlement to be scrapped.

“There’s no specific amount — it’s not like if we reach a 5 percent opt out, then the NFL would say the deal is off,” Seeger said. “In every class action there are opt outs so I expect there to be opt outs. I don’t expect the number to be high.”

The $765 million will provide medical benefits and cash payments to retired players, pay for medical and safety research, and cover the costs of the litigation itself. If the settlement plan is approved, some retired players — those suffering from ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia — can receive up to $5 million. Most members of the class (which consists of more than 18,000 former professional football players) won’t get anything close to that amount, but all retired players are eligible for medical checkups to determine whether they are suffering from neurological impairment.

Seeger noted that players do not have to prove that football caused their neurological conditions in order to collect from the settlement.

“There is no causation requirement,” Seeger said. “Former players will not need to demonstrate that their injuries were caused by football in order to receive medical benefits. Nor will they have to prove a scientific link between concussions and their disease today.”

The settlement also includes a proposed fee of $112 million to attorneys who brought the many lawsuits on behalf of the thousands of retired players. United States District Judge Anita Brody will determine whether $112 million is an appropriate fee, and if so how the money should be split up among all the lawyers who worked on these cases.

“Any lawyer in the country who has been involved in the concussion litigation, who believes work they have done has contributed . . . can apply for the $112 million. I don’t know how many that will be. I anticipate it will be dozens of law firms,” Seeger said.

Judge Brody still must approve of the plan for how the $765 million will be distributed.

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32 Responses to “Retired players express “overwhelming support” for settlement”
  1. britishraven says: Jan 7, 2014 1:14 PM

    This is exactly the reason for all the rule changes

  2. ingraven says: Jan 7, 2014 1:14 PM

    cuz they’ll be getting an OVERWHELMING amount of money

  3. bowdowntopeyton says: Jan 7, 2014 1:16 PM

    This is just sad. First the beasts that built the NFL get screwed over by the league, now they are getting it from the lawyers.

    Enjoy your millions, Seeger.

  4. fdugrad says: Jan 7, 2014 1:20 PM

    765 M is a great deal of money, generally speaking, however it is barely a drop in the bucket to a business as profitable as The NFL. They got off easily. I just hope whatever monies the players receive will help in tangible ways for the serious injuries these men sustained participating in the bloodsport we call professional football.

  5. ctiggs says: Jan 7, 2014 1:21 PM

    When i signed up for the Military. I knew the consequences.

  6. rjg427 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:23 PM

    I hate to sound insensitive here, but I dont get the legitimacy of this. These guys signed contracts to play…they certainly understood risks involved in playing a contact sport…it’s not my fault (as a ticket holder) that these guys squandered away their funds when they were young by living it up and partying hard…They also played this game in college, high school and beyond…how come those institutions are liable as well…B–S!

    I guess my season ticket prices just went up again…

  7. dryzzt23 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    I wonder if the players realize that maybe they could make MORE money if they wouldn’t sue and cost the NFL millions in legal fees.

  8. rubenxx7 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    they should never had playef football in the first place they knew the risks

  9. wallacejay says: Jan 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    Just proves that this was just a big money grab

  10. RavenzGunnerz says: Jan 7, 2014 1:31 PM

    NFL should just create a massive retirement fund.

    It’s clear that this is an unsafe sport. In age of regulations and safety, just telling the judge that your employee knew the risks and took it, is not gonna fly today, and will definitely not fly in a few years when people become more sensitive about brain & nerve damage.

    You can’t ask your employees to go fight lions for entertainment and turn back and say, hey, they knew the risks.

    Retirement fund should at least have a clause in it that says, If you sue, you lose your retirement funds.

  11. myeaglescantwin says: Jan 7, 2014 1:33 PM

    this to me is preposterous.

    you mean to tell me that none of these individuals realized that running head first into people would effect their lives post football??

    with the money they make , no one got a great life / health insurance plan??

    these idiots have caused the NFL to change and ruin the product on the field. no respect. no remorse for these has beens.

  12. RavenzGunnerz says: Jan 7, 2014 1:39 PM

    The problem here is that it’s not that the NFL can’t win these lawsuits..

    The issue is that the NFL can’t afford to get involved in these lawsuits for 2 reasons:

    1. If they lose, then they pay dearly.
    2. Most importantly, if the lawsuit drags on… it’s a publicity nightmare for the sport.

    So, NFL will settle every time.

  13. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 7, 2014 1:40 PM

    The Steelers are the world’s most prestigious sports franchise.

  14. dryzzt23 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:42 PM

    Do these “legends” not make money via NFL events, video games, appearances, bubble gum cards, etc?

  15. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 7, 2014 1:44 PM

    The Rooneys are America’s most important family.

  16. dasmol says: Jan 7, 2014 1:46 PM

    “You can’t ask your employees to go fight lions for entertainment and turn back and say, hey, they knew the risks.”

    You can if they were hired to fight lions for entertainment. Negligence, however, is another story.

  17. koolaidsgonebad says: Jan 7, 2014 1:53 PM

    I really cannot believe some of the heartless comments. Of course many of us understand there are ramifications to your health from football. We all understand the risks associated. But you also have to take into account that we (as a whole) did not fully know the risks until the last decade or so.
    During that time the NFL held back information. This is why they should pay. And they should have programs/health insurance for said players.
    I would think the majority of us would not understand how bad it is or could be (parkisons, loss of memory, mood swings, dimentia, ALS, etc). People are saying these guys wasted their salary earnings partying. Well the majority retired players we are talking about did not make the millions players do today. Some of the players in the 50s and 60s and prior had to have 2nd jobs.

  18. orngnbl says: Jan 7, 2014 1:55 PM

    You guys are all missing it. Of course the players knew there were physical risks of playing the game such as bad knees, etc. What did they did not know was the high likelihood that they would experience mental disease later in life that would cause them to forget their kids names when they were 50, brush their teeth with krazy glue, and make them want to take their own lives. The NFL knew this and withheld it. That is the reason for the settlement.

    I for one respect these men who are taking years off their lives for my enjoyment on Sunday afternoons and they should be paid well for it.

  19. wtfchiefs says: Jan 7, 2014 1:57 PM

    Someone is going to sue a high school or college for this same stuff soon. Bet you anything.

  20. I'm Judgemental says: Jan 7, 2014 2:04 PM

    Do the math. Minus the lawyer fees, that money works out to roughly $36K per player. Hardly a money grab…

  21. gochargersgo says: Jan 7, 2014 2:15 PM

    For all the people complaining about the players getting “just” 765 million. Do you see the part where it says that they don’t even have to prove their medical problems are related to football? This isn’t PG&E and Erin Brokovich, these people weren’t poisoned and subsequently lied to. Save your pity for someone who actually deserves it.

  22. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Jan 7, 2014 2:24 PM

    No Vikings player should get anything… ever. Worst franchise in the history of sports.

  23. tcostant says: Jan 7, 2014 3:08 PM

    Isn’t it odd that you need to accept an unknown amount in ordre “to sign up”.

    This is very odd because lets sa you sue some business for $1 milllion dollars and the offer $250,ooo to settle. You can make an educated decision.

    The issue here is that you need to take the settlement w/o knowning how much you will get.

    Very odd…

  24. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jan 7, 2014 3:16 PM

    The majority of the people suing didn’t spend their money like players of the year 2000 and beyond. As someone already mentioned, it was common for players to have second jobs.

    Look at this way…..Cell phones have been popular for how long now, maybe 20 years. What if 20 more years from now people start developing brain issues from 30+ years of cell phone usage….kids of that generation will look at us “old guys” and say “well duh, wasn’t it obvious that if you hold an electronic device against your head for 30 years you’ll have brain issues.”

    A bunch of priveledged spoiled brats we live amongst nowadays. sad.

  25. theysone says: Jan 7, 2014 3:26 PM

    What do you call a thousand dead lawyers in a ravine? A good start.

    What’s the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? One is a scum sucking bottom dweller, the other is a fish.

    What’s the difference between a snake and a lawyer that have been run over by cars? The snake has skid marks leading up to it.

    Lawyers are destroying this country, the NFL included.

  26. sb44champs says: Jan 7, 2014 3:47 PM

    …this is the sole reason ‘bountygate’ was manufactured and the Saints were the scapegoat..

  27. gochargersgo says: Jan 7, 2014 3:49 PM

    xxsweepthelegxx says:
    Jan 7, 2014 3:16 PM
    “The majority of the people suing didn’t spend their money like players of the year 2000 and beyond. As someone already mentioned, it was common for players to have second jobs.

    Look at this way…..Cell phones have been popular for how long now, maybe 20 years. What if 20 more years from now people start developing brain issues from 30+ years of cell phone usage….kids of that generation will look at us “old guys” and say “well duh, wasn’t it obvious that if you hold an electronic device against your head for 30 years you’ll have brain issues.”

    A bunch of priveledged spoiled brats we live amongst nowadays. sad.”

    The fundamental flaw in your argument is that I don’t get paid millions of dollars every year to talk on my cell phone.

  28. savethebaylesshouse says: Jan 7, 2014 3:55 PM

    Unfortunately we may be living in a decadent society reminiscent of Rome where a few men pitted against each other to the death in an arena filled with thousands was considered “sport”. How can we call ourselves an advanced society when we support and pay billions for public degradation? Just like the old Greek maxim for Achilles that you will either have fame and die young or be obscure and have a long life, I’d rather see our youth aspire to serve to live honorable lives and serve their communities behind the scenes rather than grow up and “play” for an acronym, whether it be for the NFL, UFC or WWE. Would you want your child to grow up and be Anderson Silva (one leg works right now) or maybe Junior Seau? He wasn’t a product, he was a person. I should know, he was my uncle’s best friend.

  29. randomguy9999 says: Jan 7, 2014 4:08 PM

    This settlement is only $42,500 per player, so the NFL is dodging a monster bullet for cheap money.

    Imagine if it went to court for a couple of years… the players would definitely win because they definitely got hurt, and we’re talking brain damage… the final judgement could have been $1M or more per player x 18,000 players = $18 Billion which would wipe out 2 or 3 years of profit pending TV rights results.

    The NFL won this thing big time…. again

  30. dynastyposeiden says: Jan 7, 2014 4:18 PM

    1st post hopefully they all won’t be this verbose

    the owners won this deal in a landslide
    it is chump change especially in the way in it will be paid out over a period of years – it amounts to less than 22 million per team spread over 18000 players over a 50 year + period of job performance … it is less than a month of revenue for this 10 billion dollar a year business.
    Sure they are happy to have it much in the way a starving man would be glad for a cracker to eat .
    The rules now enforced are a gross over correction especially the ridiculous protections afforded (some) qbs the concussion protocol is sufficient remedy w/o the huge fines and suspensions . The league should institute ejections for grievious cases and a NHL style penalty box for less serious offense. Instead they took away the intimidation factor and turned the league in arena football – sickly feeding the lazy fans that only watch the football.
    The owners many of whom (or their families) have owned their teams for decades are culpable for more or less forcing the players to play when they were injured at risk of their jobs but also for forcing the work to be performed on paved concrete for 25 years (astroturf) . Did the players know the risks sure but if you go to work and get hurt the law forces your employer to give you time off with pay to get well. They do not force you to continue working with injuries at risk of your job.
    why anyone would side with the owners who were willing to cancel the season just 3 short years ago unless the players caved in is beyond my wildest imagination. They are hiding behind the commish and selling a fantasy of their own lack of wrongdoing and some of you dopes are buying it hook line and sinker
    fiddle away roger fiddle away
    Some of the players did fritter away their money that is a fact but the money was for their job performance not for brain damage. Blocking and tackling throwing running and catching. If the armed forces showed walter reed on the recruiting commercials instead of the cool technology and weapons people would not sign up so fast methinks.
    I hope for the sake of you fine people who say the heck with they are on their own that you do not have to struggle to remember your kids names or tie your shoes because karma can be a mean mother ……………!

  31. gochargersgo says: Jan 7, 2014 5:51 PM

    Imagine they used all the money in ridiculous fines to fund this all? Problem solved. Its 10k out of your bank account for having your toenails too long these days.

  32. kwjsb says: Jan 7, 2014 7:27 PM

    With Obamacare why do they need the medical?

    “If you like your pension ……. You can keep it”

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