NFL Painkiller Plaintiffs Want in On Concussion Settlement Negotiations

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On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, the National Football League filed a response opposing the potential intervention of a class of ex-players (who are suing the league on other grounds) into the concussion-lawsuit settlement proceedings.

In a separate action, a class of ex-NFL players lead by Super bowl MVP and Chicago Bear Richard Dent are suing the league for encouraging injured players to abuse painkillers to stay on the field.  This class now seeks intervention in the NFL’s concussion litigation settlement negotiations  for fear of the effect the proposed settlement will have on their  claims.

The potential interveners allege that the current settlement deal contains relatively broad language that may be construed to release the  painkiller abuse claims.  The NFL filed its response to the motion to intervene, arguing that the class cannot meet the requisite standard for intervention.  The league argues the intervening class does not carry its burden to show how it’s interests and the concussion class’s interests diverge.  Also, the league claims that, because the members of the class are also members of the concussion litigation class, they have sufficient alternatives to recourse.  The court has scheduled a specific date by which members of the concussion-litigation class may object to the settlement or opt out.

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