Notices in the NCAA $75 Million Settlement Finally Complete
On September 12, 2018, attorneys representing the NCAA notified U.S. District Judge John Lee that the direct notice portion in the $75 million dollar NCAA Concussion Litigation case had ended. As we have continued to report, Judge Lee has delayed the final approval of a $75 million settlement several times after he learned that thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes were yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee originally approved the $75 million settlement in July 2016, but delays, largely attributed to difficulties notifying more than 4 million student-athletes, including acquiring contact information and physically notifying the student-athletes, prevented final approval.
Gilardi & Co., as the administrator, was tasked with notifying 4.4 million potential class members about the settlement, which provides medical monitoring funds and injunctive relief to student athletes at risk for brain damage from repeated blows to the head. However, according to a declaration filed with the court in February, an internal audit showed that claim notices failed to go out to more than 75,000 current and former NCAA student-athletes. In August 2018, lawyers in the case asked the court to push a final approval hearing until the problems were resolved. According to an attorney representing the players, “[m]ost recently, upon learning of additional class members to which notice had not been sent, we requested an audit to ensure that 100 percent of the class members for which the 1,100 NCAA institutions had provided contact information received direct notice. That process is nearly complete. We expect one additional round of notice and then the final fairness hearing to be scheduled in late 2018.” Over a year later, it appears that the process is finally complete.
The $75 million dollar settlement was initially approved by Judge Lee in July 2017. $70 million of the settlement will go to a Medical Monitoring Program, which will help treat and monitor the estimated 4.4 million current and former NCAA student-athletes who took part in contact and non-contact sports. The remaining $5 million will go to concussion research, changes to the NCAA’s guidelines, and a limited release.