Dec 10

The Blitz 12/10/17

The Blitz

Essential Sports & Sports Law News

Week in Review 12/10/17

📖Read of the Week:

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement

Opt-Out Cases

Aaron Hernandez wrongful death lawsuit

NCAA Concussion Settlement

Colin Kaepernick Collusion Grievance

HS Rugby Player’s Brain Damage Lawsuit

Dwight White Estate Wrongful Death Malpractice Suit against UPMC, Dr. Joseph Maroon

Minor League Baseball Antitrust Lawsuit

Terry Crews vs. Adam Venit Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Warren Moon Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Jim Turner vs. Paul Weiss

James Dolan named in Harvey Weinstein Lawsuit

👨‍✈️Crime Blotter:

💡Concussion Discussion:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

🏒NHL Breakaways:

📓NCAA Notebook:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

🖇Everything Else:

Dec 05

NFL Concussion Settlement Update 12/5/17

NFL

Numerous filings appeared on the NFL Concussion Settlement Docket today. Here’s a quick summary of today’s activity.

The first motion of the day seemed somewhat promising as X1 and Loren & Kean Law filed a brief in support of their prior motion to reconsider administration of the settlement in accordance with its plainly written language

Co-Lead Class Counsel and Counsel for the NFL Parties would lead this Court to believe that the Substantive Changes are merely procedural, nothing more than policies and procedures instituted to implement the claims process consistent with the Settlement Agreement, and that Movants are merely attempting to bypass the process. This is patently false.

To be clear, Movants are not attempting to bypass the process and have never alleged that they are not required to follow the claims process. Movants are attempting to prevent insertion Substantive Changes beyond the scope of what is provided under the Settlement Agreement that create additional requirements to qualify for a Monetary Award and point to the following new evidence in further support of their Motion for Reconsideration:

  1. Orran Brown has confirmed that the new change, which now requires that raw scores must be submitted in support of neurocognitive testing, is not contained in the Settlement Agreement.

  2. Co-Lead Class Counsel and Counsel for the NFL Parties did not dispute the new evidence of Substantive Changes, new evidence of confirming widespread problems and new evidence demonstrating lack of payments presented in the Motion for Reconsideration, and label the Substantive Changes “processes” under the framework of the Settlement Agreement.

  3. The proposed FAQ  purports to make further Substantive Changes to the Settlement Agreement by, among others, now requiring neuropsychological testing for post-effective date claims made outside the BAP but through an MAF, which effectively eliminates the “generally consistent” standard contained in the Settlement Agreement for post-effective date claims made outside the BAP but through an MAF.

  4. Ken Belson of the New York Times, the same reporter whose June 17, 2017 article was attached to an Order issued by this Court, has recently reported widespread problems and perceptions of unfair practices among Claimants attempting to obtain Settlement Awards.

 

 Today’s filing also pointed out that these changes are not merely detrimental to the clients represented by X1 and Loren & Kean Law, as Seeger tried to frame it in his opposition brief, but to the entire class of retired players whose interest Seeger purportedly should represent.  While Seeger portrayed the new claims standards as mere procedural changes the Movants by hypothetical example illustrate why this is not correct:

There is nothing “procedural” about requiring Claimants to submit raw test scores from neuropsychological tests for re-evaluation by the Claims Administrator. By way of example, a change in process would be requiring that Claimants submit medical records to the Claims Administrator via FedEx rather than through the claims portal, to verify delivery dates via third party courier. The procedure in this example, method of delivery of records, has no material effect upon, and does not substantively alter the rights of the Claimants unlike these additional requirements being added into the Settlement Agreement.

 

Unfortunately for the Class this motion didn’t survive the day; it was one of six motions that Judge Brody denied today.  The seventh motion ruled upon today – and the only one granted – was that of NFL Counsel Brad Karp’s joinder with Co-Lead Class Counsel Christopher Seeger’s motion in objection to the pleadings described above.

For additional background see:

Motions Filed to Address Concussion Settlement Delays

Christopher Seeger Opposes Motion to Benefit NFL Concussion Settlement Class

 

Other motions denied today:

Motions to file a surreply to Seeger’s Omnibus Reply Declaration by

For additional background see: NFL Concussion Settlement Has Even Attorneys Worried

Motion to prioritize player compensation filed by Yerrid Law (ECF 8723)

Motion to compel Co-Lead Class Counsel’s compliance with Case Management Order 5 filed by Lubel Voyles (ECF 8396)

 

Two rulings from Special Masters

A ruling concerning potential fraud resulted in the unfortunate denial of 153 claims from players who were examined by Dr. Serina Hoover. These claims had been under audit and it was determined by the Appeals Advisory Board that the standard of care was lacking.  Probably the most egregious flag of suspicious behavior was in the number of exams performed per day:

Furthermore the Claims Administrator noted concerns about the timing of Dr. Hoover’s evaluations.  Dr. Hoover allegedly evaluated and tested at least three Players on the same date on 25 different days, and on two days, one of which was New Year’s Eve, she evaluated and tested eight Players in one day.

 

Other apparent indiscretions were also summarized along with a decision that “Dr. Hoover is disqualified from participation in the Program.  Any Monetary Award Claim that relies on neuropsychological testing performed by Dr. Hoover is disallowed and no claims may be submitted in reliance on her testing or opinions.”

Special Masters did, determine, however that players denied because they were evaluated by Dr. Hoover can be retested by a MAF physician or BAP Provider; “If the original Qualifying Diagnosis reached by Dr. Hoover or a physician relying on her testing is confirmed by the Qualified MAF Physician or the BAP Provider, the diagnosis date may be dated retroactively to match the date of the original Qualifying Diagnosis asserted in the Monetary Claim Award that relied on Dr. Hoover’s evaluation.”

PDF of Special Masters Report

 

Special Masters also made a determination regarding eligible seasons that will be favorable to players.   The language in the settlement and dispute concerning the same is as follows:

disputed language

The NFL sought to disqualify those who were cut 90 minutes prior to the start of a game from the “active” designation, however Special Masters found that the clear language of the Agreement did not specify a portion of a day or a time during the day when a player must be considered “active” therefore, the ruling is that any player who was active on the 53-man roster at the start of game day will be considered active on game day for settlement eligibility purposes.

This ruling by Special Masters seems to be the most promising news to emerge from the Settlement since the claims process began.  Noteworthy perhaps was Special Masters’ focus on the plain and common meaning settlement terms, and in particular, the phrase “on the date of”  focusing on “date” as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary to mean an entire day.  Perhaps there is still hope that at some point Special Masters will be able to weigh in on other considerations where plain language has been obscured and obfuscated by “procedures” that seem to contradict the specific language in the settlement.

PDF: Special Masters Ruling on Eligible Seasons

 

Dec 03

The Blitz 12/3/17

Essential Sports & Sports Law Week in Review

📖Read of the Week:

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement

St. Louis vs. NFL

College Players vs. Riddell

Bledsoe vs. NCAA

Rick Pitino vs. Adidas

👨‍✈️Crime Blotter:

💡Concussion Discussion:


Example:

🌡Player Health & Safety:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

📓NCAA Notebook:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

Nov 26

The Blitz 11/26/17

Essential Sports & Sports Law News

Week of November 26, 2017

🐦Tweet of the Week:

Tweet of the Week

⚖️Litigation Lane:

Adrian Robinson Wrongful CTE Death Lawsuit

I’ve selected this lawsuit as this week’s “headliner” because if the suit makes it back to State Court (and I think there’s a good chance) it could be a game-changer.

Aaron Hernandez

NFL Concussion Settlement

Sports Agent’s Antitrust Lawsuit against NFL/NFLPA

Fletcher Cox Lawsuit

NCAA Concussion Settlement

New Brain Injury Class Action Against NCAA

Cameron Dollar vs. Seattle University

👨‍✈️Crime Blotter:

💡Concussion Discussion:

🌡Player Health & Safety:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

🏒NHL Breakaways:

📓NCAA Notebook:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting

This Friday!!!!

Nov 23

The Blitz – Turkey Trot Special

Blitz Turkey Trot Special

Essential Sports & Sports Law News 11/23/17

Happy Thanksgiving

📖This Issue’s Essential Read from Will Hobson & Steven Rich h/t Nancy Hogshead-Makar

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement

Aaron Hernandez (Daughter’s loss of consortium lawsuit)

Derek Boogaard

Jameis Winston Investigation

(While it isn’t a lawsuit yet, YET is likely the operative word.)

NBA 2K Lawsuit

NCAA, PAC12 Wage Lawsuit

🐴California Chrome vs. Ray Lewis

💡Concussion Discussion:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

Jerry Jones on Monday:

Jerry Jones on Tuesday aka what a difference a day makes…

📝NFLPA Notes:

📓NCAA Notebook:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

Nov 19

The Blitz 11/19/17

Essential Sports & Sports Law News
Week in Review – November 13-19, 2017

📖Reads of the Week:

Special thanks to Ken Belson and Lindsay Gibbs for their excellent coverage of the NFL Concussion Settlement and for including Advocacy for Fairness in Sports in your work.

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement

Ezekiel Elliott

Lane Johnson vs. NFLPA, NFL

Aaron Hernandez

Rams Fans Seat Licensing Lawsuit

New NCAA/ACC Brain Injury Lawsuit

NCAA Scholarship Litigation

👨‍✈️Crime Blotter:

FIFA Corruption Case

NCAA Bribery Case

UCLA Players’ Shoplifting in China

Jameis Winston

💡Concussion Discussion:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 12

The Blitz 11/12/17

Essential Sports & Sports Law News

Week in Review – November 6 – 12, 2017

📖Read of the Week:


>

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement

Ezekiel Elliott

Jerry Jones vs. Arthur Blank (and the rest of the NFL owners)

NCAA Athletic Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation / Jenkins et al. vs NCAA

Aaron Hernandez Hacking Lawsuit

MLBers vs. Al Jazeera

Dolphins Fan Lawsuit

This is a very interesting read:

👨‍✈️Crime Blotter:

Li Angelo Ball China shoplifting arrest

NCAA Fraud and Bribery Case

💡Concussion Discussion:

🌿Cannabis Conversation:

🌡Player Health & Safety:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

📓NCAA Notebook:

🤸‍♀️USA Gymnasitics:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

🖇This & That:

Nov 05

The Blitz

Essential Sports & Sports Law News

Week in Review – October 29 – November 4, 2017

📖Read of the Week:

⚖️Litigation Lane:

Ezekiel Elliott

The best Twitter commentary as it happened in real-time and in chronological order:

And the best Zeke articles to emerge this week:

NFL Concussion Settlement

New Status Report Released:

ICYMI

Objections to Seeger Weiss fee petition:

The count is now up to 419.

(⬆️Follow-up story on this coming soon.⬆️)

NFL Painkiller Lawsuits

Colin Kaepernick Grievance

Erin Henderson vs. Jets

Minor League Baseball Wage Lawsuit

👨‍✈️Crime Blotter:

Cuban Ballplayer Smuggling Case

💡Concussion Discussion:

🚫Domestic Violence in Sports:

🏈NFL Sidelines:


Apparently this never happened:

✊🏿✊✊🏾Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

Oct 29

The Blitz 10/29/17

Important Sports & Sports Law News

Week of 10/22/17 – 10/28/17

🐦Tweet of the Week:


Most of the stuff I tweet is dead serious, as are most responses. Though I’m not a lawyer, I spend so much time reading and discussing briefs that the advertising bots are convinced I’m in need of men’s underwear. This break in the dialog put a smile on my face and actually made me giggle aloud – so now – I request leave to move on the next opposing seatmate and pour some salt. 🤣

📖Reads of the Week:

I flipped a coin and still couldn’t decide, so we have two essential reads this week. First, ESPN’s investigative reporters give a “fly on the wall” view as to what really took place in the meetings last week.

And this from Patrick Hruby, written in 2014. If you want to know what’s going on the NFL Concussion Settlement, read this. Patrick looked into his crystal ball and got it right.

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement

This is a VERY IMPORTANT motion, so I’ve compiled the highlights here:

Highlights from other noteworthy filings:

And this:

Kaepernick

Ezekiel Elliott

The Ezekiel Elliott saga developments by the day:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Lane Johnson vs. NFLPA, NFL

Baker et al v. BRG Sports Inc (Riddell)

Yankees’ Foul Ball Injury Lawsuit

Amani Bledsoe vs. NCAA

Adrian Ghioroaie vs. Auburn

📢PSA:

Neither are easy to obtain but one doesn’t preclude the other.

💡Concussion Discussion:

🌿Cannabis Conversation:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

🏒NHL Breakaways:

📓NCAA Notebook:

‼️Race & Sport:

✊🏿✊✊🏿Athlete Activism:

🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:

Oct 22

The Blitz 10/21/17

Important Sports & Sports Law News

Week of 10/16-10/22, 2017

📖Read of the Week:

⚖️Litigation Lane:

NFL Concussion Settlement


I should add, that it would be hard to even calculate the number of deaths since the litigation started.


Ezekiel Elliott

The Elliott case was all over the place this past week. I’ve compiled everything you need to know in chronological order.

Aaron Hernandez CTE Lawsuit:


PDF: Aaron Hernandez Lawsuit h/t @BobMcGovernJr

Colin Kaepernick Grievance


Intriguing perspective from Robert Littal on potential impact of the grievance with excerpts from Amy Dash’s blog post on the subject.


Amy Dash @AmyDashTV blog post

Grievance PDF h/t Jimmy Golen @jgolen

Pop Warner Brain Injury Lawsuit

While my primary focus has been on the NFL Concussion Settlement as of late, this is a very important lawsuit to keep an eye on.

High School Players vs. Riddell Lawsuit

Boxer’s Brain Injury Lawsuit

Pitino vs. Adidas

Nate Allen Civil Rights Lawsuit

l👮Crime Blotter:

💡Concussion Discussion:

💊Doping:

‼️Race & Sport:

🏈NFL Sidelines:

📓NCAA Notebook:

✊🏿✊Athlete Activism:


🎲The Scoop on Sports Betting:


This is a veritable red-carpet list of who’s who in sports betting. Great opportunity for DC Media or others who may be able to attend! Kudos to Daniel Wallach for putting this together!


I’m also hearing rumors of the possible addition of Professor Ryan Rodenberg, who authored the first amicus brief submitted in the case, and who may also be speaking during oral arguments at SCOTUS on December 4.

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