SBD/July 3, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Seven Former Players Claim NFL Concussion Settlement Could Result In Less Money Paid

Seven former NFL players objected to the revised class-action concussion settlement, arguing in a federal court motion yesterday that the new deal could actually result in less money paid to players than the old one. The NFL and class counsel for thousands of former players last month re-filed the proposed settlement with the federal court, removing the monetary cap that had set $675M as the maximum amount available to players. A federal judge had questioned whether $675M was enough. The new settlement, though, also included new assessment and appeal provisions that the seven players in their filing contend are onerous. “Given the limitations on who qualifies for compensation and the complex, one-sided process for determining that, it is likely the settlement will cost the NFL less than $765 million,” the motion, which was filed Wednesday, stated. In addition to the $675M being uncapped, the settlement includes $90M for assessments and research. “To receive any recovery, class members must navigate a complex and burdensome administrative process that appears designed to decrease the cost to the NFL,” the motion said. “This complex procedural framework is a transparent attempt to minimize the cost of the settlement to the NFL -- a consideration of tremendous importance now that the so-called 'cap has been lifted.’” The seven players -- Roderick Cartwright, Sean Considine, Alan Faneca, Ben Hamilton, Sean Morey, Jeff Rohrer and Robert Royal -- said they show signs of CTE. The settlement only awards money for CTE post mortem, and only for cases before the settlement is preliminarily approved. “That limitation on CTE compensation is remarkable,” the motion said. The class counsel has said previously that symptoms of CTE are covered, though the seven outline several symptoms in their 58-page motion that they contend are not. The motion also notes that years spent playing in NFL Europe are now not eligible. The settlement awards players based on years in the league. Under the old settlement, years in NFL Europe counted, under the new proposed settlement, they do not.
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