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 thrust of the objections revolves around CTE, a neurodegenerative disease that can only be diagnosed through autopsy. The objectors’ medical experts, Dr. Stern and Dr. Gandy, attempts to establish traumatic brain injuries as a causation of CTE. A major issue with CTE is that, since it cannot be diagnosed while an aggrieved player experiences its symptoms in life, players experiencing the early CTE symptoms cannot likely recover compensation under the settlement’s baseline monitoring program.
The objecting group also argues that the CTE diagnosis problem causes a fatal conflict within the settlement class. Because CTE cannot be diagnosed in life, the group argues that the settlement favors currently injured class members at the expense of members who will later die or later be diagnosed with CTE. The group also takes issue with the settlement’s failure to credit seasons played in NFL’s European league. The NFL has until December 11 to file with the court its written response.