SBD/April 17, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Judge Again Denies Preliminary Approval Of $765M NFL Concussion Settlement

U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody yesterday "denied preliminary approval" of the $765M settlement between the NFL and "more than 4,500 of its retired players in the concussions case that has been in the spotlight," according to Jeff Blumenthal of the PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL. Plaintiff laywer Larry Coben said that yesterday's ruling "merely closes a new docket that was established in the same case on Jan. 6 when plaintiffs filed several motions, including seeking preliminary approval of the settlement and class certification." Brody’s ruling in January "dealt with the case filed under the original docket number." Brody's ruling yesterday "was only one sentence long." A lawyer for the NFL "could not be immediately reached" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/16). In L.A., Sam Farmer noted although the ruling originally was characterized "as a setback for those pushing for a concussion settlement," attorneys for the plaintiffs yesterday clarified that Brody’s ruling was "more of a procedural housekeeping item" (LATIMES.com, 4/16). In N.Y., Christian Red notes attorney Michael Kaplen "questioned the amount of time it is taking for the plaintiffs’ attorneys to meet the requirements" set forth by Brody. Kaplen said, "It’s been 4-1/2 months. That’s an awful long time to put together something cogent before the court. If it has been done, to date it hasn’t met the satisfaction of the court. The case is lingering without discovery, without moving forward in terms of granting any justice" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/17).
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