Yet another football player head injury case is working its way through the federal courts. A federal judge has rejected a proposed $75 million settlement over head injuries, filed by former NCAA football players. The case is a consolidation of almost a dozen suits filed around the country by former NCAA football players, under claims by lead plaintiff Adrian Arrington, who played college football at Eastern Illinois University.
Judge John Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois rejected the proposed settlement, which would reportedly have created a fund for neurological testing of former college football players and provide money for head injury research. The proposed deal would also have increased standards for allowing football players to get back on the gridiron after concussions.
The proposed settlement was seen by some as a strategic move by the college athletic governing body to stop the inevitable tidal wave of potential litigation similar to the one currently washing over the shores of professional sports. The NFL and the NHL are currently in various states of litigation and settlement negotiations over player head injuries, among other claims by former players.
According to Yahoo Sports, the proposed settlement would have increased focus on player safety, and would “shield the NCAA from being hit with a single blockbuster damages payout.”
Judge Lee was clear that settlement negotiations between the parties should continue. Yahoo Sports quotes the judge as saying, “The court encourages the parties to continue their settlement discussions…to address these concerns.” The judge also called the initial settlement proposal, “a significant step in trying to arrive at a resolution of this highly complex matter.
As in this case, if you have a question about sports or sports law, or you are a professional athlete seeking representation, you need experienced legal counsel. 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.