Ex-NFL Players Seek Review of Concussion Settlement

Atlanta litigation attorney

Concussions continue to be a major topic of discussion for the NFL and the NCAA. Just a few weeks after a federal judge granted a preliminary approval of a major settlement between the NFL and former players over head injuries, seven ex-players are now asking the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to review the district court ruling.

In recent months, more than 200 lawsuits by more than 5,000 former NFL players were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The ex-players have alleged that the risks of serious brain injuries, head injuries, concussions and the dangers of multiple sustained head injuries were not disclosed to them by the NFL during their playing days. Judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval of a $675 million dollar settlement to resolve the players claims that the NFL failed to adequately warn players about the risks of head injuries on July 7.

Now, only a few weeks later, players are alleging that the class certification was flawed, and failed to adequately represent certain groups of players.  Ex-players Robert Royal, Sean Morey, Jeff Rohrer, Roderick Cartwright, Sean Considine, and Alan Faneca objected to the settlement before even the preliminary approval.  According to the Baltimore Sun, the petition to the 3rd Circuit calls the class, as it was certified, “doomed” and called the settlement “improperly complex and exclusionary.”

The Baltimore Sun reports that one of the major issues the players have with the settlement is that any deaths or complications after the date of the settlement would not qualify for compensation.  In its current version, more than 20,000 former players will automatically be covered under the settlement, unless they opt out.

Judge Brody will conduct a fairness hearing on the NFL settlement later this year.  But these objectors are not satisfied to wait several months for Judge Brody’s hearing.  Instead they want the 3rd Circuit to hear the issue sooner, stating that, “rather than incur the substantial expense and inevitable delay of a fairness hearing and ensuing opinion, we ask that these problems be addressed now.”

With more than 35 years of experience representing professional athletes, individuals and businesses in the areas of sports law and business litigation, James J. “Jim” Thomas II is recognized as an expert across Georgia.  If you or your business needs assistance in sports law, business ventures, handling complex business litigation, or in the analysis, evaluation, and resolution of existing and potential litigation in sports law cases, give Jim a call at 404-869-5248 or email him today to set up a consultation.

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