NFL Concussion Settlement Objectors Seek Broader Amendments
On Monday April 14, 2015, a group of former NFL players raised another round of objections in the class action concussion lawsuit against the NFL. The 28 former players who objected to the initial $765 million settlement, contend that an amended settlement is also deficient.
The initial settlement was preliminarily approved in July 2014. However, upon the suggestion of Judge Anita B. Brody, in February, the NFL amended the settlement, paying particular attention to coverage for the families of CTE sufferers. The amended settlement now covers deaths that occur between the preliminary approval and final approval. Under the previous settlement, only those diagnosed prior to July 7, 2014 were eligible for benefits. It also extends the grace period for a CTE diagnosis after death to 270 days after final approval.
Other changes include eligibility credit for seasons played in Europe, hardship waivers for assistance with attorney’s fees if a party wants to appeal, and a limited exemption for players whom are unable to provide required medical records.
According to the players, the NFL still benefits from the amended deal. They contend the amendments are insufficient to compensate players and their families for concussions and other head trauma injuries. They also argue there is no logical reason to include a deadline for CTE diagnosis.
Given Judge Brody’s previous order recommending changes, in light of these new objections, she may again seek to “enhance fairness” by encouraging further changes to the settlement agreement.