Judge Brody rejects concussion settlement

AP

When details first emerged regarding the proposed settlement between the NFL and the thousands of former players of the concussion litigation, some thought the league got too good of a deal.

The presiding judge possibly agrees.

Via multiple reports, Judge Anita Brody has rejected the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, a week after the formal motion was filed.

Judge Brody reportedly has concerns about the ability of the proposed $675 million compensation fund (from the total $765 million settlement) to cover benefits to be paid now or in the future to all retired players.  While payment is limited only to former players with “severe cognitive impairments,” it’s unknown how many current players will develop conditions that automatically will qualify for compensation, regardless of whether the condition is related to football.

The development comes as a surprise, given that the settlement was brokered by a retired judge appointed by Judge Brody and ultimately assessed by a Special Master also appointed by Judge Brody.  It could be simply a matter of Judge Brody being cautious, especially since the worst-case scenario would arise if, in 30 or 40 years, recently-retired players develop Alzheimer’s disease or ALS, they make a claim for compensation, and they discover that no money is left.

It’s too early to conclude that the decision will derail the settlement completely.  Chances are that the lawyers will dot more i’s and cross more t’s and crunch more numbers and come up with a more persuasive presentation of evidence aimed at getting Judge Brody to agree.

43 responses to “Judge Brody rejects concussion settlement

  1. “… the lawyers will dot more i’s and cross more t’s and crunch more numbers and…”

    and, of course, and most importantly, the lawyers will BILL MORE HOURS and thus take more of the money that should go to players.

  2. Honestly, it’s the players who got to good of a deal.

    Noone has to prove that their injuries came solely from the NFL. Anyone with a Peewee, high school, or college concussion or even if it wasn’t sports related can put in a claim for this money as long as they played a down in the NFL.

    The part they got right is that only players with severe cognitive disorders can claim the money. At least the money will only go to people who really need it vs just the players who ran out of money and want a handout.

  3. There is no week that goes without hearing that X player got a concussion.

    There is no week that goes without hearing that X player returned to play because it’s the playoffs.

    Of course this is a high collision sport. There will always be concussions. Even if the NFL were to inform parents about the dangers of playing the sport, and have them choose whether their kids participate, no matter how safe you make the sport, there is still collision regardless. Those collisions result in concussions, those concussions result in brain disease.

    So, there is no sum of money that can solve this problem imo.

  4. The players from the current era should be putting away money to care for themselves not hoping for a deal. The info about what can happen to your body playing football has been out there for awhile and they chose to play it so they can pay for it. I don’t feel sorry for them especially for how pansy the league has gotten over the past few seasons.

  5. ” in 30 or 40 years, recently-retired players develop Alzheimer’s disease or ALS”

    That suggests that all Alz or ALS is caused by football. Which is wrong

  6. Such a blatant money-grab by the players.
    Every person on the planet knows getting knocked senseless is bad for you. Players earned way more ( in recent years) for a reason. If they didn’t provide for their future, too bad.

  7. Awesome. A multibillion empire business monopoly like the NFL can easily afford to pay these guys what they deserve. It’s appalling how they weren’t even given health coverage or retirement by the league, and after all their injuries/surgeries from playing regular insurance companies wouldn’t cover them even if they could afford the premium.

  8. 1. For all the geniuses that kept saying the players knew what they were getting into you obviously have no knowledge of the details of this case. Sort of reminded me of the redicule the lady who spilled McDonald’s coffee on herself and won a suite. No one knew the details yet they rediculed. The NFL’s stance on head injuries and what they told the players about the consequences of head injury was horrendous. Until recently they fought and refute almost any evidence tying football impact to life altering head injuries. That is the main reason they are out this much money. Don’t make it your policy to deny head injuries from football exist, cover the players who retired medically and there would be no law suits. Same thing with big tobacco. Don’t make it your policy to consistently campaign cigarette smoking is somehow not that harmful (all while having internal documents showing the opposite and you will not get sued.

  9. I don’t really believe Judge Brody’s account of what happened when he was captured by Abu Nasir. Something’s up with that guy.

  10. The league cashed $9.5 billion in revenue in 2012, and Goodell announced last January that his goal was to reach $25 billion a year in revenue by 2030. His plan would require over $900 million in new revenue each year.

    So, you can see that a league that plans to make between $200 billion and $500 billion over the next 20 years probably will have a bit more than $675 million to spend on long-term treatment of concussion damage.

  11. I thought this settlement did not apply to anyone who had not yet retired at the time it was ratified. The reasoning seems wrong.

  12. 765 million of top and add 10 million a year annually for 50 years. That’d make it approximately a 1.2$ billion settlement for a span of 50+ years. May sound outrageous, but this lawsuit list grows by the day as soon as ex-NFL players realize they may be entitled to a “free lunch” by faking some head aches, head trauma and memory issues.

    One thing I worry about is phony compensations… Aka, players faking ALS symptoms just to receive an extra paycheck later on in life…

    The NFL needs to develop a strong system that requires proof and evidence of a players compensation to ensure that the money goes to people who truly need it, not to guys who blew away their life savings..

    If too much money is allocated, then there are plenty of charities that can use that extra money.

  13. I love this mindset that just because some entity makes x amount of dollars that means they can afford to and SHOULD pay it out to plaintiffs.
    No it doesn’t. There is no proof that all these concussions came ONLY from pro football and NOT AT ALL from high school and college football. But who has the most money to give these guys? Hmmmm….
    No criticism for the lawyers though who bank a majority of the money.

  14. At end of day no way of telling if injuries were from high school, college, or NFL..or all 3 and this just delays payouts to those who need it now

  15. Colleges need to step up their game on this subject as well.

    More stringent NFL policies will be put in place for kids coming out of college that have had concussions, or concussion like symptoms.

    Draft stocks will fall. Agents and players will do their best to hide as much data as possible.

    All in the name of $$, not player safety.

    Additionally, NFL players need to be more personally responsible for their health. Don’t shout out the need for player safety, but hide and/or lie about what’s going on inside your head when team doctors ask questions.

  16. As it turns out, Girls Field Hockey is the most dangerous College Sport for concussions. Football comes in 5th or 6th. As for suicides, it seems that MLB has as many or more than the NFL. How much money has the government put aside for concussions received while in the armed forces? Uh,…none. How much has the NCAA put aside for concussions while playing college sports? Uh,…none. The NFL is rich and doesn’t have a bunch of adoring alumni, so let’s stick it to them.

  17. apkyletexas says:
    Jan 14, 2014 1:58 PM
    The league cashed $9.5 billion in revenue in 2012, and Goodell announced last January that his goal was to reach $25 billion a year in revenue by 2030. His plan would require over $900 million in new revenue each year.

    So, you can see that a league that plans to make between $200 billion and $500 billion over the next 20 years probably will have a bit more than $675 million to spend on long-term treatment of concussion damage.

    —————————–

    Revenue, not profit. If revenue is $200 billion over 20 years, the players receive $100 billion of that money.

    The owners have to pay for the stadiums, support staff, taxes, front office staff, travel, health insurance out of their 50%

    The players really don’t have any business related expenses except for their agent so why can’t the NFLPA set aside some of the players share for retirement benefits such as this? That’s right it was brought up and rejected because no player would accept taking $1 less today to save $5 down the road in health care.

  18. $765 million is about one months income for the NFL.

    Goodell will just write a check to make it go away.

    I hate to admit it, but I see the judge’s point.

  19. Wow, sanity along with common sense involved with a judge in a group of the richest people in America?

    Practically speechless here, but I’m loving it.

  20. It won’t take long for the kids who played college football only, not in the pros, to get their settlement as well.

    Those college players have already banned together this year by wearing a solidarity band.

    It will trickle down to high school level, and eventually pee-wee league. The threat of lawsuits will be too heavy.

    It will take time, but unfortunately, the game we love, will probably be gone in our current form in the next 25 years.

    It appears very obvious to me……I hope I am wrong.

  21. in regards to the players getting 100 billion in revenue that is correct more or less a % point but they get 100% of the debilitating injuries save any one riding around after happy hour with the broncos coaching staff

  22. A lot of this can be fixed if players would just tackle properly instead of going for the kill shot every time.

    It seems proper tackling has gone, or is following the footsteps of, the dodo bird. Just to get an highlight on ESPN.

  23. everyone who ever worked for a construction company should file a lawsuit because of hearing problems… there are risks in every profession and nobody is forcing anyone to play football.

  24. everyone who ever worked for a construction company should file a lawsuit because of hearing problems… there are risks in every profession and nobody is forcing anyone to play football.

    ———————————————-

    Yes, but construction companies provide ear plugs (as do other industries) which protect from hearing loss. They also provide safety equipment and mandate ways to work that mitigate the risk of other injuries.

    The NFL has been denying that working for them results in long term brain injury.

    As well – there are many older players (Mike Webster, RIP) who were paid peanuts compared with todays players, and suffer from brain trauma (who were told to shake it off and you just got your bell rung, etc) and struggle.

    It is about those guys…

  25. And this is the reason for every little tap on the head being a penalty. The league doesn’t want another 700 mil law suit. they don’t care anymore about the current players than they did about the ones 20-30 years ago. follow the money

  26. If this is a “fund” than that money should be invested, which means that the pool should be able to sustain itself as along as it isn’t depleted very quickly.

    Additionally, I feel like concussions are taking the blame for the many problems of post-football life. Suicides are higher than the average population, so what? A fair comparison would be what is the suicide rate for people that have a high income and live in luxury from age 25-40, and then can no longer do their job, get the same pay, or live the same lifestyle.

    Guys like Kevin Turner should get theirs, but when you have kickers that only play in a half dozen contact plays a game in the suit, that’s an insult.

  27. I am for the former players getting paid. Tough guys that played hard for the pay that isn’t anything close to what it is now. A lot of those guys haven’t aged well either because of it so yeah, look out for them. Give back to the people who made the league what it is now.

    Anybody else though, unless it’s a unique circumstance then no as you know what they’re getting in to.

    “they don’t care anymore about the current players than they did about the ones 20-30 years ago”

    That is true, just look at the equipment. The helmets cause ‘concussions’ (term applied loosly now) yet they won’t change the gear but are all for ‘safety’ (another term use loosely).

  28. @cfballfan1 lol that was a stupid thing to say. Like honestly. A judge holding decision on a matter he feels needs more time devoted to it? Sounds like he wants to make sure justice is properly served, not deny it. Ignorance is bliss, you must be a very happy person

  29. This is total bs. The players deserve squat. You don’t want to suffer the effects of concussions, don’t play football and don’t reap all the money, glory and girls that come with it. You don’t want to get burned? Then, don’t iron your shirt while you’re wearing it, duh.

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