Former players who don’t like deal face tough choice

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Typically, a plaintiff who has a chance to settle a lawsuit knows the size of the bird in the hand — even if the size and number of proverbial birds in the bush remain a mystery.  For former players with actual cognitive injuries due to concussions, they’ll have to decide whether to opt out of the proposed concussion settlement without knowing what they’ll get if they take the deal.

While it’s good that only players with real injuries will share in the $675 million fund aimed at compensating players, it’s not so good that the players with real injuries won’t know what they’ll be getting before they have to decide whether to opt out and, in turn, what they’ll be giving up if they do.

It makes the decision whether to opt out even harder, and it could make some of the plaintiffs more inclined to roll the dice on the litigation.

In the end, all it takes is one plaintiff with a serious cognitive injury to decide to keep pushing.  And if that player happened to suffer his serious cognitive injury between 1987 and 1993, when there was no Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, his case could be able to get past the league’s effort to get the lawsuit sent to arbitration.

It could be a long fight.  The plaintiff(s) who decide to continue to pursue the lawsuit could eventually lose.  But if the plaintiff(s) who opt to opt out can keep the case alive long enough to find out what the NFL knew and when the NFL knew it and, eventually, to push it through to a jury, who would decide the case based on sympathy and other factors that could result in the kind of verdict the NFL desperately wants to avoid.

12 responses to “Former players who don’t like deal face tough choice

  1. This is a poor representation of our legal system. Either way the NFL comes out on top, by rule of CASH, which will always give them leverage in court – unfortunately

  2. Feel bad for players that suffered head injuries. But how can we know their 1st head injuries, that may have happened at a young age in high school/college, didn’t contribute the most to the damage?

  3. As has been pointed out previously, there is no guarantee that it goes to a jury rather than to a judge. In that case there is a great probability that any damages award would be smaller than the proposed deal.

    There are also a large number of players who have joined the lawsuit who do not have any symptoms or brain damage. They may have joined as a precaution against future problems or they may have joined the suit for a free ride. The fact is that the number of players eligible for compensation is substantially smaller than the number of litigants.

  4. @Weezycat…how is this a “liberal handout”? You guys really need to start thinking of new catchphrases. Or at least use them in the proper venue/time.

  5. No one twisted anyone’s arm to play this game. Take it and shut up.

    To those thinking about playing it – live with the consequences or walk away. Accounting is a very safe profession.

  6. unislaya, its not a poor representation of our legal system. It is an accurate representation of our poor legal system. Clifford, as Jimmy Buffett says, don’t try to describe a Kiss concert if you’ve never seen it… Don’t confuse people with your guesses at the processes this case might follow.

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