Colombia Law School Holds Conference on NFL Concussion Lawsuit’s Uncapped Settlement Fund

On March 2, 2018, at a conference on class action jurisprudence held at Columbia Law School, advocates and opponents discussed U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s decision to move the NFL concussion class-action litigation toward an uncapped settlement. Judge Brody, a Columbia Law graduate, attended the conference. As previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a…
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Harvard Law Professor Changes His Mind Regarding Attorney’s Fees

As we have previously reported, back in September 2017, Judge Anita B. Brody appointed Harvard Law School professor William B. Rubenstein to address questions surrounding the $112.5 million settlement in the NFL concussion litigation. The final settlement established an uncapped fund that would compensate a class of over 20,000 former NFL players. In May 2017, a collection of law firms representing the players, filed a petition seeking $112.5 million common-benefit fee to compensate the class of attorneys. In his original assessment, Professor Rubenstein said…
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Harvard Law Professor’s Assessment on Attorney’s Fees Sparks Opposition

As we previously reported, lingering issues over the NFL concussion litigation settlement have reemerged. The final settlement established an uncapped fund that would last over a 65-year period, to compensate a class of over 20,000 former NFL players. In May 2017, a collection of law firms representing the players, filed a petition seeking $112.5 million common-benefit fee to compensate the class of attorneys. Unlike traditional common-fund cases where the common-benefit fees are calculated as a percentage of total recovery; in this case, the NFL
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Former NFL Players Hit Back as Over Eighty-Eight Percent Have Entered Settlement

The NFL and its former players agreed that August 7, 2017 was the final day for players to register for the NFL concussion settlement program in order to receive benefits for head trauma experienced during their careers that have or could result in brain injuries. Current NFL players and those who retired on or after July 7, 2014 are not a part of the registration process. Adam Selter, a lawyer who has been retained by approximately two hundred former NFL players, stated “[t]he settlement is…
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Riddell Concussion Update: Helmet Company Thrown Back into NFL Suit

Between January 27 and February 3, 2016, US District Judge Anita B. Brody handed down two new orders in the seemingly never-ending NFL concussion suit. The first decision was actually a reversal of one of Judge Brody’s previous ones, turning over her December 2015 decision to sever claims against helmet-maker Riddell, Inc., who is being targeted by the former players in the suit for making an inferior work product that caused, or at least did not properly prevent, concussion and other head injuries on the…
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Federal Judge Severs Claims Against Riddell in NFL Concussion Litigation

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody severed claims against helmet company, Riddell Inc., from those pursued against the NFL in relation to a suit brought by players who have sustained traumatic head injuries during their careers. A settlement between the NFL and the players was reached back in April, however, this settlement did not include the Riddell defendants. The court addressed the Riddell defendants on Tuesday, when it granted the helmet company’s motion for severance. In granting Riddell’s motion for…
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NFL & Former Players Reach Settlement Again; Judge Approves

On Wednesday, April 22, Federal Judge Anita Brody approved what may become the long-awaited final settlement between the massive class of ex-NFL players and the NFL in their concussion litigation. The lawsuit, an aggregation of hundreds of ex-players’ complaints, began three and a half years ago claiming the NFL failed to address and warn of the dangers of head trauma.  Former players and their families suffering from life with debilitating neurological damage sought medical help from the NFL.  After a few rejections of proposed settlements,…
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NFL Concussion Suit: Further Changes to Settlement Agreement

Both the plaintiffs and the NFL amended the tentative settlement plan in the NFL concussion suit again in response to U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody. Early in February, Judge Brody issued an order that contained recommendations to “enhance the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy” of the proposed settlement agreement. The parties had until Friday to address her five concerns. First, Judge Brody urged to expand the provision that only counted NFL playing seasons in calculating eligibility of players. The revised agreement credits a half-season for…
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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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Fairness Hearing on NFL Concussion Settlement Concluded

On November 19, the opponents of the NFL concussion settlement had their last chance to object the deal before a U.S. District Judge Anita Brody. The main argument for the opponents was that the cash award was limited to players who died with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”) during a relatively small window of years.  Under the current plan, only players who were diagnosed with CTE before July 2014 would be eligible for up to $4 million.  Additionally, the diagnostic tests to determine eligibility for some…
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