Jul 05

Independence Day Reflections

July 4, 2018

Jun 24

A lawsuit initiated…and another won…at long last

June 24, 2018

Ashmore Case Reflects Difficulty Disabled NFL Retirees Endure to Receive Benefits

The NFL has a long and shameful history of denial of retired players’ disability benefits, and though collectively bargained, the NFLPA has been of little if any help in the matter.  Because of the structure of the Bert Bell-Pete Rozelle Disability Plan, money going to compensate retired players affects the salary cap available to compensate active players and thus a major conflict of interest is created.  Read More about “Ashmore Case Reflects Difficulty Disabled NFL Retirees Endure to Receive Benefits”

Former NHLers Nick Boynton and Daniel Carcillo call for accountability in a new lawsuit and appeals through Players Tribune

On Thursday, two former NHL players, Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton, who have been increasingly critical of the leagues handling of fighting and denial of the risk of brain injury have filed a lawsuit against the NFL in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The players assert that the NHL, outside of any collective bargaining agreement has a duty to keep its players safe.
Read More about “Former NHLers Nick Boynton and Daniel Carcillo call for accountability in a new lawsuit and appeals through Players Tribune”

Jun 21

New Concussion Settlement Filing Gives Peek Into NFL’s War on Claims

June 21, 2018

I didn’t have time to do an article, however this twitter thread, with attached PDF will give an idea as to the lengths the league will go to in order to circumvent payment of settlement awards.  The claim on which this brief is based is for a younger player with Level 1.5 dementia. (Click on the tweet to open the full thread.)

Jun 06

Recent Articles

June 11, 2018

NFL Concussion Settlement Issues Appealed to Third Circuit

“Though it is not perfect, it is fair,” was the opinion handed down from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2016, when the appellate court ruled in favor of the Settlement designated to compensate retired NFLers for brain injury that was approved by Judge Brody in almost a year earlier in 2015.  While a group of players appealed the Third Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court, in December 2016 the High Court declined to hear the case, finalizing the Settlement with player registrations beginning in January 2017 and claims submissions in March of that year. A year and a half into settlement implementation the Settlement has been plagued with problems and controversies, not the least of which are low dementia claim approvals, and NFL allegations of widespread fraud for which it seeks a special investigator.  Attorneys for the players dispute the pervasive fraud alleged by the NFL, a problem largely of their own making, but these are not the only areas where controversy exists. Like a boomerang, two of these controversies have made their way back to the Third Circuit… Read More about “NFL Concussion Settlement Issues Appealed to Third Circuit”

June 9, 2018

Phil Colwell: A profile of one CFL player’s battle with brain injury

On the windswept, rainy, Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, former CFL fullback Phil Colwell is taking life such as it is one day at a time.
Colwell only played in the CFL for two seasons in the early 80s, yet he believes the major health issues he is now suffering through are directly attributable to his time in the league with concussion injury being his main complaint, along with back, hip and neck issues. Read More about “Phil Colwell: A profile of one CFL player’s battle with brain injury”

June 5, 2018

The CFL’s Canary in a Coal Mine

Over the past decade or so, evidence that something was wrong with former NFL players’ brains has grown exponentially.  The living, and even the dead told tales that the NFL did not want to hear.
During that time Boston University CTE researchers established a brain bank to “better understand the long term effects of repetitive head trauma” on football players and at that time, the CFL took notice, seeing it as the first, dangerous, shot across the bow for their league. Read More about “The CFL’s Canary in a Coal Mine”

May 23, 2018

HBO Real Sports Pulls Back Curtain on NFL’s Claims of Fraud in the Concussion Settlement

Who’s defrauding whom? The NFL has decried massive fraud in the much-heralded uncapped settlement purposed to compensate retired NFL players for brain injuries but far from living up to its promise, HBO reports in a May 22 segment, “only ten percent of players who’ve filed claims for payment have received any money. That includes only one percent of all claims for dementia. One percent.” Read More about “HBO Real Sports Pulls Back Curtain on NFL’s Claims of Fraud in the Concussion Settlement”

May 15

From our contributors:

May 13, 2018

May 15, 2018

Conflicts of interest appear to abound in CFLAA

The CFLAA states as its mission, “The Canadian Football League Alumni Association unites former CFL players in support of sport, youth, and health related charitable causes, former players experiencing a medical challenge that creates a financial hardship, and the promotion of football in the community.”  These goals inherently create a conflict of interest for the organization.  Read More about “Conflicts of interest appear to abound in CFLAA”

May 08

The latest

May 8, 1018

May 2, 2018

Canada, football, and brain injuries: Will the “better angels of our nature” ever prevail?

It’s a foregone conclusion that the CFL has been aided and abetted with their curious CTE dog and pony show by a lot of the Canadian media who continue to flog the not ready for prime-time Dr. Tator “extreme caution” mantra when diagnosing the CTE gelded pinto. But here’s another question: “is the CFL also getting some muddy the CTE waters help from the Canadian Football League Alumni Association helmed by the Leo Ezerins?” Read More about “Canada, football, and brain injuries: Will the “better angels of our nature” ever prevail?”

Apr 28

Most Recent:

5/2/2018

Canada’s League of Denial

When the book and documentary League of Denial appeared in 2013, I wondered where the concussion and brain/disease injury awareness situation sat for the Canadian Football League.
Unlike the National Football League and other interested observers’ slow and reluctant acknowledgement of football concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the CFL has, for the most part, enjoyed a curious detachment from the issue. Read More about “Canada’s League of Denial”

4/28/2018

Amid disturbing allegations of misconduct Chris Seeger cries “foul”

In the largely private world of class action and multi-district litigation settlement implementation one has reason to question the efficacy for plaintiffs versus the defense of settlements which often seem more valuable to defendants than those they were designed to compensate.  A prime example of this is the much-heralded NFL concussion settlement. Read More about “Amid disturbing allegations of misconduct Chris Seeger cries “foul””

4/27/2018

Disappearance of Len Sparks adds to CFL family’s CTE turmoil

The 1960s was a time of seismic cultural and societal change and an immense sense of energy crackled in the air in all aspects of life.  And in that metric, the Canadian Football League would arguably enjoy their most golden decade with powerhouse teams like the Hamilton Tiger Cats, Ottawa Rough Riders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders who among them, captured 9 national championships in the 60s.
Leonard (Len) Sparks, a full football scholarship star player at Wyoming, was a northern Ontario boy who came south lured by the legitimacy of play in the CFL and eventually played for four different CFL teams between 1963 and 1969.  As a solid defensive back/end, Sparks was subjected to the terrible violence of the game at a time when helmets were little more than a lightly padded plastic shell, spearing and chop blocking with a head lead were routine and “concussion protocol” was a farfetched fantasy. A ringing of one’s bell, and “how many fingers do you see and what city are you in.” “Real men” sucked it up and went back to getting their noggins knocked again and again. Read More about “Disappearance of Len Sparks adds to CFL family’s CTE turmoil”

Apr 23

Our latest articles look at recent filings and rulings in the NFL Concussion Settlement and the Climate of Brain Injury Denial in Canada

Part 1 of a 2-part series looks at a recent filing by Chris Seeger and his ambivalence toward the players he was appointed to represent:

Friday the 13th a bad day for NFL Concussion Settlement Players

Friday the 13th was not a good day for Concussion Settlement Class Members.  On that day numerous filings in opposition to the motion filed by attorney Gene Locks for player-friendly Settlement administration landed on the docket.  Among the filings were responses from Special Masters, Claims Administrator Orran Brown, BAP Administrator Matthew Garretson, NFL Counsel and Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger.

The Settlement resembles the NFL’s Disability Plan on steroids in its attacks against retirees.  This isn’t surprising, because it is standard operating procedure for the league.  Nothing in the NFL’s brief came as a surprise to anyone familiar with their MO.  Unfortunately, as the Settlement progresses, Mr. Seeger’s MO tends to closely resemble that of the NFL. Read More about “Friday the 13th a bad day for NFL Concussion Settlement Players”

The mystifying puzzle of Judge Anita Brody:

Retired NFL Players, Wives React to Recent Concussion Settlement Ruling

On Wednesday Judge Anita Brody issued a ruling in the NFL Concussion Settlement that prompted a wave of anger and despair for many members of the class action settlement.  In her order, Judge Brody denied the motion of Gene Locks in which he asked the court for permission to share administrative duties in the Settlement alongside Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger.
The first year of claims processing has been very trying for the retired players and their wives.  Many of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia claims have found themselves targeted for fraud.  Hundreds of others found themselves caught in a seemingly endless cycle of “preliminary review” in which their cases never seem to move forward.  Other legitimate claims have been outright denied because of the NFL’s aggressive opposition to claims and their influence jointly with Chris Seeger.  As of April 16, of 1,135 dementia claims filed only nine (9) have been paid. Read More about “Retired NFL Players, Wives React to Recent Concussion Settlement Ruling”

And finally, a look at the obstinance of Canadian media and doctors regarding the football-CTE link:

 

Apr 20

Our report on the latest NFL Concussion Settlement ruling

In the article we discuss reactions from players and their families, and the impact going forward for class members as well as what appears to be an attack on independent counsel.

Retired NFL Players, Wives React to Recent Concussion Settlement Ruling

On Wednesday Judge Anita Brody issued a ruling in the NFL Concussion Settlement that prompted a wave of anger and despair for many members of the class action settlement.  In her order, Judge Brody denied the motion of Gene Locks in which he asked the court for permission to share administrative duties in the Settlement alongside Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger.
The first year of claims processing has been very trying for the retired players and their wives.  Many of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia claims have found themselves targeted for fraud.  Hundreds of others found themselves caught in a seemingly endless cycle of “preliminary review” in which their cases never seem to move forward.  Other legitimate claims have been outright denied because of the NFL’s aggressive opposition to claims and their influence jointly with Chris Seeger.  As of April 16, of 1,135 dementia claims filed only nine (9) have been paid. Read More about “Retired NFL Players, Wives React to Recent Concussion Settlement Ruling”

Also – please welcome our newest contributor Terry Ott and be sure to check out his debut article with AFFIS.  He will be reporting on CFL issues.

Is the CFL stuck in 2011 in regard to football brain injury?

Terry Ott’s debut piece for AFFIS begins with a story the Canadian media largely didn’t want to cover.
The Canadian Football league may be at the most important crossroads in its 105-year history. Despite steadily rising viewer numbers and revenues from television in Canada and the United States, five new modern stadiums constructed in the past four seasons with healthy attendance numbers and increasingly attractive internet and social media platforms, the CFL faces the possibility of a $200 million dollar class action suit also alleging injury from concussion and now comprising some 200 members. Read More about “Is the CFL stuck in 2011 in regard to football brain injury?”

Apr 16

Advocacy for Fairness in Sports Response to NFL Allegations of Fraud in the Concussion Settlement

Master of deception NFL cries ‘Fraud’ in the Concussion Settlement

But – is it really fraud they’re objecting to or that they’re finding themselves caught in their own trap? On Friday, the NFL, in a couple of caustic motions, decried massive fraud on the part of players, lawyers and doctors in the NFL concussion settlement, while failing to acknowledge that this is a climate of their own making. Read More about “Master of deception NFL cries ‘Fraud’ in the Concussion Settlement”

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