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 had first asked the court in August to ensure claims were being properly administered per the settlement agreement, and argued the claims administrator had altered the implementation of the original settlement. For example, the players said, the claims administrator reinterpreted “corroborated by documentary evidence” to mean “corroborated by documentary evidence that existed before the date of the qualifying diagnosis.” In addition, the players pointed to a Nov. 7 agreement between NFL counsel and co-lead class counsel that required that neuropsychological testing records submitted for certain claims must now include raw test scores.

Class counsel, Christopher Seeger, opposed the motion for reconsideration, saying that the retired players’ motion said nothing new. “Co-lead class counsel recognizes and shares the general desire of retired NFL football players and their families to expedite the full and fair adjudication of their claims,” the motion in opposition said. “Ultimately, however, as this court already determined, movants’ concerns should be addressed within that orderly framework. Nothing in movants’ motion warrants reconsideration of this court’s earlier order in that regard.” The court had previously said the players should appeal denied claims, which the former players called “prohibitive and burdensome.”

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