The ever-contentious concussion settlement is going to become less contentious.
Via the Associated Press, Judge Anita Brody dismissed on Friday three of the four lawyers representing the class of former plaintiffs. Christopher Seeger will be the only lawyer authorized to speak for the full complement of former players moving forward.
The order, characterized as a “surprise” by the AP, sparked a sharp reaction from one of the lawyers who is now on the outside looking in.
Gene Locks, one of the lawyers dumped from the case, had recently argued against Judge Brody’s decision to place a geographic limit on the class members’ search for a doctor.
“This court has been told, many times, in motions and in [chambers], factual arguments from the NFL that have been exaggerated and intended to limit their obligations to the players,” Locks told the Associated Press. “At this point, [it] extinguishes any remaining hope that the individual interests of the class members will be adequately protected.”
Although more than $500 million in benefits have been paid with another $160 million in approved claims pending, the process has generated plenty of controversy and confusion. The league has agreed to an unlimited pool of funding for proven claims regarding covered conditions, extending 65 years beyond the settlement. The unlimited nature of the program, however, gives the league a real incentive to fight any and every claim, in an effort to contain the ultimate exposure.