SBD/January 8, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Vast Majority Of Former NFL Players Expected To Accept NFL Concussion Settlement

Attorney Chris Seeger, the lead rep for former NFLers suffering from concussion-related conditions, yesterday "expressed confidence that the vast majority of football retirees will agree" to a proposed $765M settlement with the league, according to Michael O'Keeffe of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Seeger said that the deal reached with the NFL in August is "a boon to ex-players struggling with health issues related to brain trauma because the retirees won't have to prove that their injuries were caused by football or endure risky litigation." Seeger: "In every class action there are opt-outs, so I expect there to be opt-outs. I don't expect the number to be high." He added that if U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody approves the settlement, the former players "could begin receiving benefits by late May" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/8). In N.Y., Ken Belson writes some former players who have "criticized the proposed settlement ... say they will review its fine print and talk with their lawyers about what they can expect from the settlement before deciding whether to opt out." But others have indicated that the settlement is "insufficient and are inclined to turn it down because they say not enough money will be available for players struggling with memory loss, anger management and other problems." There is "no rule for how many players must opt out before a judge will reconsider a settlement, but legal experts said it would have to be at least a substantial minority" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/8).

GETTING BIGGER ALL THE TIME: In DC, Nathan Fenno reported Pro Football HOFer Gale Sayers "sued the NFL over concussions" on Monday, the same day the proposed settlement was filed. Sayers and five other former players sued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The case "ups the number of former players suing the NFL to 4,887 over 307 lawsuits" (WASHINGTONTIMES.com, 1/7).
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