Dave Duerson’s Family Objects NFL Settlement Proposal

The family of Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears defensive back, filed an objection of the NFL settlement offer that was preliminarily approved in July 2014.  The families of David Duerson and Forrest Blue with 8 other former players named in the objection stated that the NFL concussion settlement “disenfranchises the families who will inevitably suffer the horrific ramifications of CTE” because the proposed plan excludes players who are diagnosed with the disease after July 7, 2014, the date of the court’s preliminary approval.  In addition, the plan will not compensate players who were diagnosed with CTE before January 1, 2006, including Mike Webster who was the first NFL player to be diagnosed with the disease.

The objection by Duerson’s Family argued that the settlement offer is “designed to dramatically reduce the number of claims on which the NFL must pay.”  To support the contention, the objection included an affidavit by Robert Stern, a neurology professor at Brown University and CTE expert, that stated the players

“who suffer from many of the most disturbing and disabling symptoms of CTE would not be compensated under the settlement.”

The eligible former players could have either opted in or out of the proposed plan or have objected by October 14 when Duerson’s family and others filed their objection.  While most of the eligible players appeared to have taken the settlement offer, 10 other objections were filed before the deadline.

As one of about 50 cases with a CTE diagnosis, Duerson’s family would have been entitled to about $2.6 million under the settlement plan.

A fairness hearing of the proposed plan by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody is scheduled on November 19.

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