NFL Players’ Counsel Demand Answers from Attorney in Concussion Suit for Alleged Misrepresentations
On September 12, 2017, class counsel for former NFL players in the concussion suit against the NFL stated that an attorney made communications about the settlement program to class members that may have resulted in them taking action against their self-interest. The suit against the NFL for negligently handling the relationship between Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and repeated head trauma sustained by the former players’ profession resulted in a settlement that was approved in April 2015. The settlement could result in paying out more than $1 billion from the bottomless fund over 65 years.
An anonymous class member, referred to as John Doe, contacted the class counsel in August and sent them documents concerning the misrepresentations. Doe had retained attorney Tim Howard of Howard & Associates to represent him in the class action and had entered into agreements for advances and loans with companies that Howard is a principal. The class counsel stated the documents Doe gave showed Howard made serious misrepresentations about the settlement program to Doe and potentially to 221 other class members, which he may represent or is soliciting. Class counsel asked for corrected disclosures concerning the alleged misrepresentations and responses to requests for discovery made to Howard’s firm and the firms Cambridge Capital Group and other associated entities.
The alleged misrepresentations test the fitness of the physicians that screen whether ex-players are neurologically impaired. Howard, while acting as lawyer, lender, or both, may have caused class members to take actions against their self-interest based on inaccurate information or misunderstandings. The class counsel requested these disclosures and representations be corrected. In addition, class counsel also wants Howard to respond to discovery requests, which were issued by the judge in July to determine whether players who may be eligible for the settlement are being improperly solicited with misleading offers. Howard’s firm and Cambridge Capital Group already responded to the motion to compel and asserted their attorney-client privilege to refuse the discovery requests.