New settlement drops waiver for other leagues, enhances protections against fraud

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Judge Anita Brody rejected the initial NFL concussion settlement due to concerns that the $765 million package may not cover all claims.  The new settlement agreement addresses that worry conclusively, by wiping out the ceiling on the potential payments.

She also expressed concerns about language waiving claims against other football organizations.  That provision was addressed, too.

“There is no longer a release of the NCAA or any Pop Warner league, middle school, high school, in the release of this case,” attorney Christopher Seeger said during a Wednesday conference call to discuss the settlement.  “It’s out.”
The NFL has confirmed that the waiver of the NCAA and other football leagues and organizations was removed.
What’s new to the deal, as the league office has explained it to PFT, are “subtle changes in the criteria and process for qualifying for an award to prevent fraudulent claims.”
As explained by Ken Belson of the New York Times, the NFL “insisted on measures to prevent retired players from filing false claims,” including “tightened” standard for doctors eligible to diagnose retired players who would receive benefits and the creation of a “network of approved doctors.”  Also, Belson explains that the NFL will be permitted to challenge an unlimited number of claims, a major increase over the previous limit of 10 per year.
Beyond that, the standard has not changed.  Retired players who seek benefits must prove a severe cognitive impairment.  Moderate or mild impairments, even if caused by the failure of the NFL to share information about the risks of concussions, won’t be eligible for benefits.
Still, players who develop severe cognitive impairment in the future will be eligible for benefits, meaning that all players are protected, if they decide to accept the settlement.
None of this means all players will accept the settlement.  Players will have the ability to opt out and sue, or to continue with cases already filed.

12 responses to “New settlement drops waiver for other leagues, enhances protections against fraud

  1. Money grab by greedy ex players and lawyers… Gotta love the “Oh I didn’t know slamming my head into each other wasn’t good for me” defense.

  2. Just a payout to lawyers, many of whom are now out there looking for other class action style claims to bring against the league. Having ticket prices go up $50-100 the next few years should be fun.

  3. Sadly, the lawyers are already counting their money while brain damaged players with legitimate claims continue to ponder their fate.

  4. You owner slurpers are hysterical. You know…there wouldn’t be a case at all if the owners told the players what they knew when they knew it instead of concealing that info.

    The lawyers that you are all slamming brought justice and awareness to an issue that the NFL was concealing. Maybe next time the NFL will think twice before hiding info from its employees to turn bigger profits.

  5. To sue because you have had concussions after playing a game where you bang your head every play from childhood to adult hood is a sign off….well …brain damage.

  6. Nobody is defending the owners, the point is that the costs will just get passed down to fans anyway, while most of the money supposedly set up to help retired players will get spent on BMWs and blow. Your claim also betrays the same sort of confusion you hear from people cheering whenever trial lawyers land a $100 million judgment against some company, while simultaneously whining that said company isn’t paying its employees a “living wage.”

  7. Did some of you even read the criteria for these ex players to be able to receive any money? If a player has memory issues and headaches that’s too bad; he gets nada. The guy has to be brain damaged as in a”0h, you’re my first born son?whats your name again? “scenario. Just don’t understand why you resent them getting financial relief? Damn!

  8. Go retired players! Hopefully a few will opt out of the revised settlement and sue the league individually. That will allow them access to the documents, via the discovery process, that the NFL is obviously/desperately trying to keep in the dark.

  9. Oh, those lovely weasel words that lawyers and tight-fisted rich folks are so fond of, like ‘severe’, ‘network of approved doctors’, and ‘tightened standards’.

    I get the uncomfortable feeling that any former player hoping for compensation will have to demonstrate and prove his brain now has the functional capability of a sponge. If he succeeds in doing so, then he is not impaired enough to collect.

  10. When people fight for jobs,they’ll do anything.. even go back in when they cant see,talk or hear

  11. Just wait,Pop Warner,city leagues,junior and high school football,college and semi-pro leagues,arena football,maybe the CFL will be open to people wanting a check.

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