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Judge Brody rejects concussion settlement

Gavel 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.

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43 Responses to “Judge Brody rejects concussion settlement”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 14, 2014 1:01 PM

    A poorly constructed deal does not constitute a deal, next.

  2. kerzondax says: Jan 14, 2014 1:06 PM

    Good.

  3. nfloracle says: Jan 14, 2014 1:10 PM

    “… 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.

  4. RavenzGunnerz says: Jan 14, 2014 1:12 PM

    RIP Football…

    1869-2014

  5. cfballfan1 says: Jan 14, 2014 1:12 PM

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

    Nice judgin’ there.

  6. eagleswin says: Jan 14, 2014 1:13 PM

    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.

  7. kwgator says: Jan 14, 2014 1:15 PM

    Is this the same Brody from “Point Break?”

  8. RavenzGunnerz says: Jan 14, 2014 1:19 PM

    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.

  9. broncobrewer says: Jan 14, 2014 1:24 PM

    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.

  10. anicra says: Jan 14, 2014 1:26 PM

    ” 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

  11. sevensgottago says: Jan 14, 2014 1:31 PM

    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.

  12. meatcarroll says: Jan 14, 2014 1:37 PM

    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.

  13. 6thsense10 says: Jan 14, 2014 1:37 PM

    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.

  14. rolltide510 says: Jan 14, 2014 1:38 PM

    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.

  15. dynastyposeiden says: Jan 14, 2014 1:47 PM

    good it should be 10 X the previous amount

  16. thetroofishere says: Jan 14, 2014 1:58 PM

    Just make the NFL allocate 25 million per year for concussion benefits, for the next 100 years.

  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.

  18. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 14, 2014 1:59 PM

    It’s Abu Nazir, Nasir is a real person, Nazir is a fictional one. Just trying to keep the facts straight.

  19. chillyball says: Jan 14, 2014 2:02 PM

    Oh my gawd. Dan Marino is doing just fine. Go back to 1983 NFL rules, please.

  20. evilglazers666 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:10 PM

    The NFL is a nonprofit organization and the owners are poor starving souls working hard every day to make ends meat. There is no way they can afford this!

  21. gettingpwned says: Jan 14, 2014 2:14 PM

    Good!

  22. FinFan68 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:22 PM

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

  23. jburk003 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:22 PM

    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.

  24. CKL says: Jan 14, 2014 2:23 PM

    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.

  25. kevjones75 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:26 PM

    Time to revert to leather helmets and have the players sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of playing

  26. sportsfan52 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:31 PM

    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

  27. ratsfoiledagain says: Jan 14, 2014 2:35 PM

    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.

  28. dcapettini says: Jan 14, 2014 2:41 PM

    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.

  29. eagleswin says: Jan 14, 2014 2:43 PM

    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.

  30. southpaw0609 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:50 PM

    $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.

  31. mtsquad says: Jan 14, 2014 3:12 PM

    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.

  32. duece5 says: Jan 14, 2014 3:14 PM

    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.

  33. dynastyposeiden says: Jan 14, 2014 3:43 PM

    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

  34. ratsfoiledagain says: Jan 14, 2014 4:06 PM

    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.

  35. glac1 says: Jan 14, 2014 4:08 PM

    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.

  36. ronnielottspinky says: Jan 14, 2014 4:32 PM

    Chief Brody is a judge now? Sadly, still dealing with sharks…

  37. qwerty007qwerty007 says: Jan 14, 2014 4:47 PM

    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…

  38. nofunleague says: Jan 14, 2014 5:34 PM

    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

  39. judsonjr says: Jan 14, 2014 6:05 PM

    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.

  40. orivar says: Jan 14, 2014 6:32 PM

    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).

  41. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 14, 2014 9:17 PM

    Didn’t both sides already agree to this?

  42. cltcsfan33 says: Jan 14, 2014 10:15 PM

    @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

  43. richwizl says: Jan 15, 2014 2:37 PM

    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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