Update: Additional Delays in NCAA Concussion Suit Prompt Joint Request for Independent Audit
As we have reported, the NCAA’s concussion settlement continues to experience delays due to difficulties in reaching potential claimants. The initial suit was brought after a class of student athletes alleged that the NCAA did not adequately prevent or diagnose concussive injuries. The settlement has been valued at approximately $75 million, to include a $70 million fund for evaluating concussive injuries over the next 50 years.
On July 2, 2018, the NCAA and counsel for the class of plaintiffs filed jointly to postpone a final hearing, citing unexpected setbacks with the claims administrator. The motion refreshed the court on the fact that although notice to the class members had been completed in September 2017, the administrator had subsequently discovered that nearly 10,000 claimants were overlooked amid notice mailings. Months later, the administrator discovered that approximately 15,000 class members were overlooked. The court then ordered an audit to determine precisely how many potential claimants were missing, revealing an approximate 74,700. After granting several extensions to allow the administrator time to iron out these issues, further concerns surfaced, and it became apparent that there was a need for a comprehensive audit by a third party.
Counsel for both parties argued that due to the claims administrator’s incessant failures in identifying and reaching eligible potential class members, the court should appoint an independent auditor to resolve the lingering issues. The parties requested that the upcoming hearing in August be reset after an independent auditor has been appointed.