NFL, players’ lawyers express confidence concussion settlement will be approved

One of the primary skills for any lawyer is to act at all times like anything that happens was expected, if not desired.  Confidence must be projected at all times, no matter how adverse the outcome.

And so it’s no surprise that the NFL and the lawyers representing the players are expressing confidence that the judge who rejected preliminary approval of the settlement will in time change her mind.

“We respect Judge Brody’s request for additional information as a step towards preliminary approval,” the NFL said in a statement.  “We will work with the plaintiffs’ attorneys to supply that information promptly to the Court and Special Master.  We are confident that the settlement is fair and adequate, and look forward to demonstrating that to the Court.”

“We are confident that the settlement will be approved after the Court conducts its due diligence on the fairness and adequacy of the proposed agreement,” said lawyer Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.  “Analysis from economists, actuaries and medical experts will confirm that the programs established by the settlement will be sufficiently funded to meet their obligations for all eligible retired players.  We look forward to working with the Court and Special Master to address their concerns, as they rightfully ensure all class members are protected.”

Judge Anita Brody, in a 12-page ruling, expressed concern about the quality of evidence regarding the ability of the settlement fund to pay all claims that may arise in the future.  It would be unfortunate, to say the least, if a recently-retired player develops a severe cognitive impairment in 40 years and there’s no money left for him or his family.

Maybe we’re missing something (as we usually do), but there’s an easy fix.  If the NFL believes that the $675 million compensation fund (of the $765 million total settlement) will be sufficient to provide benefits to all retired players who eventually develop a serious cognitive impairment, why not guarantee that, if the fund ever evaporates, the NFL will provide any additional funding?

The NFL presumably is confident that, in 40 years, it’ll still be around and still be thriving.  Why not bet on that confidence and promise that, if the current fund that they’re confident won’t run out does run out, the NFL will make up the difference?

17 responses to “NFL, players’ lawyers express confidence concussion settlement will be approved

  1. Because betting implies a chance of losing. And they don’t have to bet if they are smarter than their opponents. Calculate a winning price, and sell it to them. Don’t take any risk unless you have to. That’s what they did.

  2. So if they money is not immediately used, does this mean the fund can be invested? If so, even if invested extremely conservatively that number will increase drastically in a decade or two.

  3. Why doesn’t the NFL cough up the $$?!

    Same reason they don’t build their own stadiums! Why give away $$ when you don’t have to!!

  4. I flabbergasted that only players with severe cognitive disorders can claim da money. At lease the money will only go to people who really need it visa jus da players who run out a money and day want da handout. It juz I think if you talk like me dat should be countin’ too-
    Emmitt Smith

  5. @ gochargersgo :
    Yea, we don’t invest like Norway. Heck, the government in Norway invested all profits from expanded oil production 1969. Now? They have no debt and have as much as 1Million per Norwegian in reserves. In thoery every Norwegian is a millionaire. The U.s. citizens all debtors….Gotta love it! Go BHO and every other government retard

  6. gochargersgo says:

    So if they money is not immediately used, does this mean the fund can be invested? If so, even if invested extremely conservatively that number will increase drastically in a decade or two.

    Or it could be invested by some rocket scientist into something like, say, a product as bad as subprime mortgages turned out to be and end up being worth nothing in a decade or two.

    Unless they were limited to buying a guaranteed investment like government savings bonds, I don’t see how any judge would allow these funds to be administered that way.

  7. Anything that big will obviously be invested. Im sure the people in charge of it already have an investment firm in mind. To just let that money sit would be negligent.

    I don’t see how a judge would have any right to tell them what to do with it.

  8. Invested or not, there is risk in investing, or a choice to conservatively pass up the investment risk that others might like to take on. Plus whether the number rises due to a guaranteed and conservative method, that doesn’t mean it can outpace inflation and that means it could lose purchasing power value over time. There’s a ton of concerns and complications when trying to look at finer details regarding the money and how it works and what’s happening. I personally have not heard how this money will be held or invested, so really it all comes down to the language that discusses that as well as how the payout process works, and that I really don’t know enough about. If you like the deal, then you can interpret the numbers/process as great for you, and if you have a competing agenda, then you can interpret the numbers as not making any sense or being unfair.

    Bottom line is there is no way to get a clear and perfect solution that makes sense for 100% of all relevant parties. This is a battle between many people trying to get what they want. And so far the Judge smells a fishy deal as she should, since there is a lack of clarity as to how the deal works as well as a weak likelihood that this is constructed well to further justice in a precise and complete fashion. Bring her a clean deal that doesn’t reek and she’ll approve it.

  9. Or, how about players start being made to be responsible for themselves.

    Just like smoking – if you start now, you should be 100% responsible for anything that comes from it. You CHOSE to start smoking.

    Just like players CHOSE to play football. From here on out, they give the league 100% amnesty from any monies….

    Don’t like it? Don’t play football.

  10. What if say 5 years from now the wife or mother of an NFL player who had recently committed suicide due to CTE files a lawsuit against the NFL. Would that money come out of this fund? There’s too many loose ends in this settlement. But hey, as long as the lawyers get their fair share of the pie right?

  11. Everyone who is posting that the risks were known obviously hasn’t been paying attention. A ton of evidence has already been discovered that supports that the NFL misled players about the true consequences of playing the game. Furthermore their horrendous treatment of those concussions is as much what this settlement is about as it is about whether or not the players were given the correct information about what the risks were.

  12. Wow… It looks like the NFL is gonna slam dunk the players on this one…. big time:

    The settlement is $42,500 per player, BEFORE attorney fees… for BRAIN DAMAGE.

    If the players had some, they would take this to trial… what is a jury going to say brain damage and an expected life span 20 years or more shorter than the regular population is worth per player?… One Million or more is my guess.

    Translation, they are giving up a class action suit for roughly 10% of NFL yearly NET profit… when they could possibly get as much as 3 YEARS total TV revenue… if the players simply had the maturity to wait 3-5 years for it to work out.

    Every time it’s NFL vs. NFLPA, we are reminded that the professional Billionaires will win… every time.

    It’s amazing that the Players continue to eat up the NFLPA’s garbage.

  13. For all of those who say ‘this wouldn’t be an issue if players tackled properly’, I respond with a question: How do you wrap tackle Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch or LeGarrett Blount when they are going at full speed at you? The obvious answer, especially if you are smaller than these men, is to aim high or low, whichever presents itself in the moment.

    This case is very interesting, not so much about the compensation, but the fact that the players are getting bigger and faster, which is trashing the old school way of playing this game. If one wrap tackles these huge super-athletes, they risk being hurt; in order to bring someone down, you HAVE to resort to the tackle that injured Gronk or go high in order to jolt them to the ground. Or you can be posterized on the ESPN spin cycle highlight reel.

    The objective of this game is for the ball carrier to not go down willingly and conversely, to bring down a player that is unwilling to be brought down. In the laws of physics, this will create impact that threatens to injure one or both of the players cumulatively as the blows occur over the course of a season(s). The bigger the players, the more devastating the blows.

    The only way to handle such a conundrum and be able to save face as a league is to go on and increase profits and expand revenue streams in order to pay for the impending rising medical costs associated with concussions. A settlement on the front end of the issue will only create more issues down the line as guys like Welker will more than likely be in bad shape in future years.

    The blow back of such an endeavor will be the engagement of new fans and scrutiny by overzealous, opportunistic politicians and media types who do not have an appetite for this kind of violence…thus, the NFL will alienate the lay fan by instituting rules that deviate from the culture of the game they grew up playing or watching.

    The NFL is playing the generation game; it is hoping that a new generation of players will adhere to the new rules and technology will evolve to make the game safer down the line which will create a product that will be acceptable to the new fans who are either kids now or have not even been born yet. Yes, they will take the hits from me and others who have actually watched and played this wonderful game in its heyday, but they are hoping to weather the storm and hopefully, the voice of the youth and technological advances will drown out us old-schoolers….who will have to begrudgingly accept it. Shoot what else are we gonna do? Spend time shopping with the wife on Sunday afternoons?

  14. Even ten times the settlement amount isn’t enough. For the kind of chump change being offered they might as well go to trial. Even five years ago trainers/coaches would simply say. “He got his bell rung.” Or how about, “He was seeing stars for a few minutes.” And then right back in the game. The medical profession has known for 20 years that successive concussions cause brain damage. The brain sort of “floats” inside the skull and every time it gets hit on one side, it bounces off the opposite side of the inner skull. It’s called contra coup. Look it up. A concussion is not just a headache.

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