Judge Says NFL Concussion Settlement Needs Changes

On Monday, February 2, Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the proposed class action settlement agreement reached between the NFL and thousands of former NFL players suing the league for concussion related injuries. The lawsuit alleges that the NFL intentionally downplayed the risks of concussion-related injuries & their long-term effects on cognitive decline.  In august of 2013, the NFL and over 4,500 players reached a settlement amounting to $765 million.  The settlement has been a point of contention over the last…
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Yet Another Concussion Suit Against WWE

It has been just over two months since a concussion suit against the WWE was filed last October.  Former World Wrestling Entertainment(“WWE”) wrestlers Vito LoGrasso, a.k.a. Big Vito and Skull Von Krush, and Evan Singleton, a.k.a. Adam Mercer, filed a suit against WWE, alleging WWE ignored signs of brain damages and other injuries while it focused on promoting violence for its business. The court filing said, “Under the guise of providing entertainment, the WWE has, for decades, subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality…
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NCAA Concussion Settlement Denied

On Wednesday, December 17,  federal  Judge John Lee denied preliminary approval of the proposed concussion settlement between the NCAA and the class of current and former NCAA athletes. The settlement was submitted at the end of July  and proposes $70 million to fund medical monitoring and testing of injured athletes.  The deal also sets aside $5 million for concussion-related research.  The judge denied the settlement, however, taking issue with several aspects of the deal.  The judge expressed concern that $70 million simply would not be…
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Non-Contact Sports Players Expect to Be Added in NCAA Concussion Lawsuit

Seven more players from non-contact sports such as golf, baseball, and volleyball are expected to be added as named plaintiffs in the NCAA concussion lawsuit which is in the middle of a settlement approval process by U.S. District Judge John Lee.  The NCAA and the players reached a preliminary settlement in July that would establish a $75 million fund for concussion related research as well as for diagnosis of current and former players for brain. At a preliminary approval hearing in October, Judge Lee asked…
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Group of Ex-NFL Players Files Written Objections to NFL’s Proposed Concussion Settlement

On December 2, 2014, a group of ex-NFL players refusing the $765 million concussion settlement filed their objections with Judge Brody of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The written objections to the settlement come two weeks after a fairness hearing was held to determine the fairness of the deal preliminarily agreed to in July.  The settlement was approved by 99% of the roughly 21,000 players in the class, however, some players feel the settlement is simply not enough. The  main…
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NFL Concussion Suit: Lead Plaintiffs Inadequately Represent Interest of Class Members

Public Citizen Inc., a public interest advocacy group, filed an amicus brief arguing that the two leading plaintiffs Kevin Turner and Shawn Wooden insufficiently represent the interest of the more than 22,000 putative class members in the NFL concussion lawsuit. The group said in the brief, “[The federal rule governing class certification] does not allow class counsel, representing only two of several necessary subclasses, to make decisions that they and defendants accurately describe as a compromise among the disparate interests of 20,000 class members with…
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Former High School QB: Fix Patchy Implementation of Concussion Protocol

Daniel Bukal, a former high school quarterback, has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), arguing that the athletic body insufficiently has managed concussions sustained by young football players. Bukal alleged he suffers from migraines and memory loss because of several concussions he had while playing football for Notre Dame College Prep from 1999 to 2003. The lawsuit seeks remedies similar to a plan proposed in a concussion lawsuit against NCAA that was settled in July. Bukal proposes the IHSA to set…
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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…
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So Far 9 Former NFL Players Say ‘No’ to Settlement Offer

As the deadline to opt out of the proposed concussion settlement, so far nine players or their representatives chose to opt out while more than 4, 000 players have registered to receive any updates on the settlement. Although some former players, including Dave Duerson and Junior Seau, wish to delay the deadline until after November 19 when a fairness hearing is scheduled, the deadline is currently set on October 14.  In a motion filed on October 2 to keep the current schedule, the lead players’…
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The Real Cost of Concussion-Related Litigation

The NFL is expected to pay out about $950 million over the next 65 years to resolve a class action brought by retired football players for head-injury claims. It is estimated some 3,600 players, about 17 percent of potential class members, will get paid from the settlement. Over 5,000 football players sued the NFL for head injuries, alleging that the NFL did not inform players of the link between repeated traumatic head impact and long-term brain injuries. In August 2013, the NFL agreed to pay…
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