NFL Concussion Class Action—Settlement Amount Challenged

A motion recently filed in federal court in Philadelphia in the NFL concussion class action contends that the $765 million concussion settlement between the NFL and retired players does not provide enough funds to cover the football-related ailments of all former NFL players. Attorney Steven filed the challenge on behalf of seven former players who believe they have symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The current class representatives of the class negotiated the settlement, which was initially rejected by the district court judge. She questioned the amount of money and the amount of information supplied, Molo explained. The current class members and their lawyers who made the deal cannot adequately represent those former players who were excluded. All of the players Molo represents “have suffered debilitating conditions that . . .  impair their day-to-day performance in life.” They want “a seat at the table.” 

Steven Molo

Steven Molo

Theoretically, Molo said, the settlement could pay out for as long as 65 years. There is concern about the costs of health care for these problems and how those costs could increase through the years. According to Molo, the current settlement amount would not compensate the families of players who died of CTE after the approval of the settlement. Boston University’s CTE Center studied the brains of 34 former players who died; 33 of them displayed CTE. [See this ESPN report for results as of December, 2012.]

One problem with the proposed settlement, according to Molo, is that the plaintiffs’ lawyers did no discovery, so no information is available as to what the NFL may have said to the players that may not have been true. The settlement provides for a 75% offset for strokes suffered after a player’s career ended. Another problem, Molo notes, is the contention that players were given a drug called Toradol for pain management. However, the drug can cause strokes.

Steven F. Molo, one of the country's leading courtroom advocates, is a founding partner of the national litgation boutique, MoloLamken LLP. He represents corporations, boards, funds, investors, inventors, and individuals in complex business litigation, white collar criminal and regulatory matters, and IP litigation. His client base is international. The Legal Broadcast Network, provides online, on-demand, legal video content, provided by attorneys, law professors and others from around the world.  The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.