Category Archives: NFL

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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San Francisco 49ers Must Hand Over Attendee Information

On January 5, 2017, Judge Susan van Keulen granted a class of mobility-disabled persons, suing the San Francisco 49ers and the city of Santa Clara, request for information about people who purchased accessible seating tickets at Levi’s Stadium. The suit originally began in December 2016 when Abdul Nevarez sued the San Francisco 49ers and the city of Santa Clara, owners of Levi’s Stadium, for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Nevarez, who requires the use of a wheelchair for mobility, attended four games…

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NFL Continues to Argue Hernandez Suit is a Matter of Federal Labor Law

On December 18, 2017, the National Football League responded in opposition to Avielle Hernandez’s motion to remand her lawsuit against the NFL back to state court. Also named in the suit are helmet maker Riddell and other related companies. Avielle’s lawsuit seeks compensation for the NFL’s role in her father’s, Aaron Hernandez’s, post-mortem diagnosis of stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Those diagnosed with CTE exhibit symptoms that include impulse control issues, aggression, depression, dementia, and suicidality. Hernandez committed suicide while serving a life sentence…

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Ruling on Field Stands for Changes to Claims Process in NFL Concussion Settlement

A Pennsylvania federal judge upheld the approval of a claims administrator’s changes in the way a multidistrict NFL concussion settlement was implemented. The 16 retired players who filed the motion for reconsideration argued that the court should review its Nov. 2 decision that they cannot interfere with the claims process. The former players again argued the requirements for qualifying for a monetary reward were altered from the original settlement agreement. The court denied the motion Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 without a memorandum. The retired players…

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Should Hernandez CTE Case Remain Separate from Class-Action Concussion Litigation?

Lawyers for the estate of late NFL star Aaron Hernandez are trying to prevent a $20 million lawsuit, filed on behalf of Hernandez’ five-year-old daughter against the National Football League, from being merged with a wider class-action suit addressing former players’ concussions. The defendants, including the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell, asked U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole in November to temporarily stay proceedings in the case until the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) rules whether the action should be added to the…

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Former Agent Counters NFL, NFLPA with Antitrust Suit After Decertification

On November 21, 2017, former NFL agent and lawyer James Dickey accused the NFL, the NFL Management Council, and the NFL Players Association of stifling competition by implementing a rule in 2002 to keep new agents out of the industry. The rule, which Dickey refers to as an unreasonable artificial barrier and which is enforced by the NFLPA, requires agents to negotiate at least one NFL team deal for every three year period in order to stay certified to represent NFL players. “The so-called three-year…

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Claims Servicer Pushes for Portion of Concussion Settlement Award Despite Alleged Predatory Lending

Case Strategies Group, a claims management service, argued on November 16, 2017 before U.S. District Judge Anita Brody that former NFL players should be allowed to pay third party lenders and claims services providers a portion of their settlement awards from the NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation. Last month, Christopher A. Seeger, co-lead counsel for the class of former players, argued the court should order the claims administrator to withhold portions of awards meant for lenders or claims services providers and block class members…

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Hernandez’s Daughter Fights Back to Keep Suit in State Court

On November 20, 2017, counsel for Aaron Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle, opposed the NFL’s bid to pause her lawsuit as well as the NFL’s removal of the case into federal court. The lawsuit blames Hernandez’s violent behavior, as he committed suicide in prison while waiting for his appeal of his murder conviction, on his after-death diagnosis of stage three chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Specifically, the suit alleged that the NFL and helmet maker Riddell, Inc. concealed information that linked football to CTE and mild traumatic brain…

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Ex-Players Argue NFL Moving the Goalposts on Requirements to Get Settlement Share

Sixteen retired NFL players urged a Pennsylvania federal court on Monday, November 13, 2017, to overturn a claims administrator’s changes to how claims are processed under a settlement agreement for brain injuries. The NFL reached the estimated $1 billion settlement in the concussion suit four years ago, and began accepting claims against the settlement eight months ago. Of the 1,400 players awarded damages from the league as part of the settlement, only 140 have gotten any sort of payout from the NFL. The court…

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NFL Requests Hernandez Suit to be Paused

On November 15, 2017, the NFL moved a Massachusetts federal court to stay the proceedings of the lawsuit filed by Aaron Hernandez’s daughter for his late-stage chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) until a decision is made about transferring the case to multidistrict litigation. After Hernandez committed suicide in prison, it was found that he had stage three CTE at the age of 27, which is most commonly seen in men in their 60s. Hernandez’s daughter claimed the NFL knew about CTE since the 1960s but did…

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