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SBD/July 8, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Revised NFL Concussion Settlement Approved, Fairness Hearing Scheduled For Nov. 19
Published July 8, 2014
IN OR OUT? In Philadelphia, Jeremy Roebuck notes if the majority of players opt in, the deal "could spare the league years of protracted litigation over allegations that its executives hid or ignored evidence that concussions can cause brain damage with long-lasting health implications." Whether eliminating the cap will "be enough to convince dozens of players who have spoken out publicly against the settlement remains uncertain." Seven former players, including Sean Morey and Sean Considine, last week signaled in court filings that they "might opt out." However, lawyers Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss, who represent many of the 4,500 retirees, yesterday "remained bullish" that most of the eligible players would buy in (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/8). ESPN's Andrew Brandt said, "There are going to be a lot of objectors to the settlement. They can opt out and sue on their own, but they're going to face challenges for doing so" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN, 7/7). Meanwhile, in L.A., Sam Farmer notes the only players who "would be eligible to receive money under the settlement are those who were retired when Brody gave her preliminary approval." So if a player "retired Tuesday or later he would not be eligible" (L.A. TIMES, 7/8).
DEFENSIVE GAMEPLAN: In Hartford, Matthew Sturdevant reports Travelers Insurance on Thursday filed suit against the NFL in N.Y. Supreme Court to "fight a demand that it defend the league against a lawsuit filed by former players who said they were encouraged to take pain medication and keep playing, leading to more serious injuries." Travelers in the suit also said that it "is not required to pay any losses resulting from the lawsuit." In addition to the NFL, Travelers "lists as defendants 26 insurers that is says sold liability policies to the league." In May, a group of more than 500 retired football players "sued the NFL, alleging that they were given painkillers and told to keep playing while injured." Travelers in its lawsuit said that the NFL has "demanded that Travelers defend and indemnify the football league in the case" (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/8).