Nearly seven months ago, the NFL’s concussion litigation was settled. And the plaintiffs are still waiting for preliminary approval of the agreement to come from Judge Anita Brody.
In their first effort to secure Judge Brody’s blessing, the lawyers failed to persuade her that the $765 million package would provide sufficient funds to compensate every former player who develops in the future a severe cognitive impairment. Lead plaintiffs’ lawyer Sol Weiss said Friday, per the Associated Press, that a financial expert appointed by Judge Brody will “shortly” provide a formal assessment of the settlement formulas and procedures.
“When you look at it objectively, it didn’t matter how much money the NFL had, it was, ‘Is there enough money to take care of [people]?” Weiss said.
Judge Brody decided in January that, based on the information provided by the lawyers, there may not be enough money. The easiest solution, in light of the league’s high degree of confidence that the funds will be sufficient, would be for the league to guarantee that any extra funds would be provided, if needed.
“There were a lot of talks; they went on for a long period of time . . . and the NFL’s tough,” Weiss said. “We did get to a point where there was enough money on the table to take care of the sick players and their families, and that’s the time we make the deal.”
Judge Brody has yet to be convinced that the deal made is the right deal for the players who’ll be eligible for funds. If she ultimately can’t be convinced, the NFL will have to cough up more cash — or the lawsuit will proceed, delayed for months by a close-but-no-cigar effort to resolve the case.