Fighting recently broke out amongst plaintiff’s attorneys attempting to settle the massive multi-district concussion litigation against the NFL after the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, nixed a $760 million dollar settlement deal proposal. Judge Brody’s concerns were that the lump sum would be inadequate to fund what could potentially involve 20,000 claims by a variety of NFL alumni over a period of 65 years. Now, the family of the deceased NFL star Junior Seau is voicing their own objections to the proposed deal.
The attorney for Mr. Seau’s children, Steven M. Strauss, noted that his clients wished to pursue an individual lawsuit against the league rather than participate in any joint settlement plan. He stated, “Mr. Seau’s children have their own claims for the wrong the NFL did to them. His children are not suing for their father’s pain and suffering, they are suing for their own.” The court filing submitted by Seau’s children also expressed concern that ongoing squabbles over the settlement could greatly delay any money that the family had coming; the filing noted, “Junior Seau’s children could be forced to wait years for justice, while the NFL continues to make billions of dollars and the memories of witnesses grow ever more distant.”
Junior Seau was a former pro-bowl linebacker that spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers. Last year his battle with concussion-related symptoms made national news after Seau committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. Personal troubles and a plethora of head-trauma relate health issues were cited as motivating factors in his suicide.
The family of the also-deceased Dave Deurson took issue with the proposed settlement as well. Duerson was a former Chicago Bears cornerback that also committed suicide after losing his struggle with concussion-related health problems. His attorney, Chicago Lawyer Thomas A. Demetrio, noted that Duerson’s estate was slated to receive $2.2 million under the deal, but opined that this amount was “not adequate.”
When contacted regarding the Seau family’s actions, the NFL declined to comment.