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Letter to Judge Brody from Concussion Settlement Class Members

 

letter

This letter was started on March 30 and the initial cut-off for signatures was to be April 3 for an April 4 submission.  On April 2, Judge Brody ruled April 3 as the cut-off for responses to the Locks motion and in compliance, we cut off signatures on Monday, April 2, and overnighted the letter to her office.  It was confirmed received by FedEx at 11:59 AM April 3.  The letter has not been posted to the docket as requested.

Honorable Senior Judge Anita Brody
James A Byrne U.S. Courthouse
601 Market Street
Room 7613, Courtroom 7-B
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1717

March 30, 2018

Dear Judge Brody:

 

The undersigned Class Members wish to express our support of the motion of Class Counsel Locks Law Firm for Appointment of Administrative Class Counsel.  As the Settlement has reached the one-year mark of claims processing we have sadly learned that we were deceived by the NFL and our own Co-Lead Class Counsel, Chris Seeger.  The Settlement has devolved into a “bait and switch” scheme in which players and their families were sold a completely different program than the one aggressively marketed to them.

In a December 2012 New York Times article Chris Seeger is credited with the following statement, “[P]layers with diseases that have already been diagnosed should receive checks within weeks after filing their paperwork.”  Throughout the registration process this mantra permeated the retired NFL Community.  We were led to believe that if we submitted our medical records our claims would be processed in an honest, quick, and efficient manner.  We were told that we didn’t even need a lawyer.  We were never informed of new language that was added to the Amended Settlement which allows the NFL nearly unlimited power to audit, delay and deny claims.

Instead of submitting our medical records and receiving prompt and fair claims processing, we have been subjected to a hellish process in which those of us fortunate enough to have had claims approved have waited months, and the majority of us are still waiting upward of one year.  We have completely lost respect for and confidence in Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger regarding his ability and desire to keep his promises and deliver the settlement he convinced us to join.

A motion was filed by X1-Law in August, seeking to call the Court’s attention to changes to the Settlement by way of interpretation.  This motion was joined by several other firms, but instead of protecting the Class from an interpretive amendment to the Settlement without notice to the Class, Mr. Seeger, jointly with the NFL opposed this motion and convinced the Court to rule against it.  Now Locks Law Firm points out the same issue and thirteen additional problems that we can attest to because we are living them.  Zimmerman Reed’s joinder describes the many inefficiencies of the BAP program that are impacting us. These need to be corrected as well.

As wives, we have seen our husbands obsess over the unfairness of the Settlement and as a result, we have seen their limited faculties diminished even further because of the stress.  Those of us without wives or family to support us are struggling and losing hope.

We believe that many of the Settlement’s failures rest on the fact that Mr. Seeger personally represents very few clients in the Settlement, instead depending on the lion’s share of the common fund agreed to by the NFL as his means of compensation.  This leaves him in a position to favor the opposition rather than the Class your court appointed him to represent.

We have looked at other MDLs in which Class Members, did not receive what was promised, two of which are Vioxx and Propulsid I; Mr. Seeger was a key figure in both.  In the latter, denials by a panel of doctors who were shrouded in secrecy, much as the AAP, resulted in only thirty-two of 4,245 claims approved.  Now that Mr. Seeger has been appointed Co-Lead Class Counsel to the Proton Pump and Syngenta litigation (where BrownGreer will be partnering as Claims Administrator in the latter)   we have concerns as to if he will even prioritize this Settlement, especially in view of his unilateral request for an additional five percent of our awards, should the Court decline to accommodate him.

The members of this Class are living their own personal nightmares every single day. The impact these diseases have inflicted on Retired Players and their loved ones is profound.  The effect of the claims delays is unconscionable. We are not mere pieces of paper to be shuffled around or put in a queue until someone gets around to acknowledging us, but instead suffering human beings desperate for help.

During the burdensome waits some of us have lost our homes.  Others stand to lose them if a corrective course isn’t taken immediately.  Some of our own doctors have grown unresponsive to us because of the NFL’s attacks on their diagnoses, and fear of being ostracized as Dr. Bennet Omalu was when he made the connection between football and CTE.

We fear the vexatious, frivolous and bad faith appeals brought by the NFL with no cost nor consequence to them whereas we must come up with $1,000 if we are to appeal unreasonable denials.  Many of us have poor credit because we have been unable to work and will not have the resources to defend ourselves.  We deserve better.  We deserve Class Counsel who keeps his promises and looks out for our interest.

We are aware of the NFL’s reactive strategies to avoid bad PR and feel that the handful of dementia claims that were recently approved is part of this strategy to deflect bad press.  While we are glad the claims were approved, the timing is suspect.  Mr. Seeger’s press releases and public statements sound like those of a public relations strategist for the NFL and appear targeted to silence media stories on the implementation problems of the Settlement, especially regarding the low approval rate for dementia claims.

Mr. Locks, in his motion. not only identifies the many problems that we are facing but also proposes solutions.  He, and those who have joined his motion represent numerous Class Members and understand our challenges.  We feel that given the opportunity, they will return the Settlement to the one promised to us, and for these reasons, we respectfully request that the Locks Law Firm motion for administrative counsel and a hearing on the problems we are facing be granted and that our letter in support be added to the docket via ECF.

Respectfully

Kim Adamle

Mike Adamle

George Andrie

George G. Andrie (son of George Andrie)

Mary Lou Andrie

Christine Archer

Joya Banta

Tully Banta-Cain

Steven Bartkowski

Aaron Beasley

Umme Beasley

Nick Bell

Trisha Bell

Sean Berton

La Jourdain Birden

Raina Birden

Bayli Blanchard

Mindy Blanchard

Mary Beth Blair

Michael Blankenship

Brent Boyd

Sue Brodie

Mary Andrie-Brooks

Sur Brooks

James Brophy

Natalie Bruhin

Cathy Carpenter

Connie Carpenter

Christian Carrillo

Bill Cesare

Wesley Chandler

Robert Chody

Mindy Williams Cleeland

Darnell Dailey

Janet Dailey

Carol Daniel

William Daniels

Kathleen Davidson

Kenneth Davidson

Tamara Davidson

William Davis

Lorraine Dixon

Rickey Dixon

Reginald L. Doss

Tamara Doss

Kenyatta Duckworth

Tim Duckworth

Troy Dumas

Carolyn Duper

Mary Ann Easterling

Carol Eubank

Debra Fellows

Ron Fellows

Brenda Fernandez

Kaylie Fogel

Allison Frase

Rebecca Gavalds

Sarah Anderson-Gedney

Houston George

Donald Goode

Kenny Greene

Tina Greene

Dena Hamilton

Ruffin Hamilton

James Harrell

Faye Harris

Kellie Harris

Onzell Harris

Tracey Harris

James (Jim) Hart

Mary Hart

Suzy Hart

Brad Hart

Kelly Hemry

Jeff Herrod

Hannah Hibbit

Lydia Hillman

Eric Hipple

Sandi Holub

Charlotte Tomlinson Homan

Dennis Homan

Edward Homan

Matt Homan

Ralph Hunter

Maurice Hurst

Rhonda Jeansonne

Lisa Jensen

Meagan Jurevicius

Garrick Jones

Misty Jones

Sherrill Jones

Antoinette Kelley

Claudia Keyworth

Jon Keyworth

Derek Kennard

Dillon Kramer

Marshawn Kramer

Ronnie Lippett

Marc Logan

Lorenzo Lynch

Chase Malamala

Suzanne Malamala

Samson (Sammy) Martin

Janet Brown McCoy

Quintus McDonald

Charlotte McMillian

Henry McMillian

Genee McRath

Michael Meade

Brett Miller

Alonzo Mitz

Emery Moorehead

Randall Morris

Harry Munn

Darryl Byrd

Denise Myers-Byrd

Charles Myrtle

Tara Nesbit

Jacque Nelson

Dawn Neufeld

Donna Norris

Bill Norvell

Jason Odom

Chukky Okobi

Edna Osborne

Susan Owens

Lisa Pagel

Mike Pagel

Linda Patrizio

Michelle Patterson

Paul Pedlar

Laundria Perriman

Courtney Perrin

Frank Pollard

Samantha Pyle-Buono (daughter of Mike Pyle)

Garland Radloff

Wayne Radloff

Margaret Ratliff (daughter of George Andrie)

Walt Roberts

Johnnie E. Roland

Council Rudolph

Scott Shanle

Luis Sharpe

Dilia Simmons

Edward Simmons

Christina Andrie Sisk (daughter of George Andrie)

Chris Slade

Talisa Slade

Kimberly Slaton

Chie Smith

Dante Smith

Jazmin Smith

Derrek Smith

Zuriel Smith

Niah Spriggs

Thomas Spriggs

Kathryn Stairs

Liz Nicholson Sullivan

Alexandra Talley

Gabrielle Talley

Gary Taylor

Jewerl Thomas Jr.

Patricia Thomas

Lora Tomlinson

Tommy Tomlinson

Patrick Toomay

Tamarick Vanover

George Visger

Timothy Walton

Emma Ware

Mark Washington

Morgan Washington

Fred Weary

Pamela Webster

Lyle West

Merle Wilcox

Darryl Williams

John Williams

Karyn Williams

Resell Williams

Brandi Winans

Bethany Wirgowski

Gerald Wunsch

Todd Yoder

Barbara Youngblood

Jack Youngblood

Robert Youngblood

These signatures came in after the letter was submitted to Judge Brody:

DuJuan Tuggle

Jeff Barnes

Missy Homan

Beverly Bussey

Jenava Tait

Diane Jarvis

James Jones

Kelly Wheatley

Brooke Roth

Matthew Roth

Kimberly Clayborne

Anne Sherman

Conrad Goode

Everett Charles Little, Sr.

Wanda Griffis

Maisha Scott

Frederick Lewis

Michael Williams

John Keith

Van Jakes

Ray Donaldson

William Russell III

Walter Robert Briggs

Ulish Booker

Larry Webster Jr.

Myron M. Guyton

Brad Lamb

Kim D. Phillips

Barry Wagner

Tommy Polley

Ryan Boschetti

Ken-Yon Rambo

Leonard Marshall

Keana McMahon

Chris Akins

Roger Jackson

Jeremy Thornburg

Joe Burns

August Otto

Nathan Simpson

Erica Lee

Wamon Buggs

Jessie Small

Solomon Miller

Ernest Givens

Kevin Lewis

Derrick Alexander

Karen Prestage Washington

Lionel  Washington

Chante  Walter

Irene Jacoby

Donald Westbrook

Paul  Miranda

Webbie Burnett

 

Permanent link to this article: http://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/nfl-concussion-settlement/letter-to-judge-brody-from-concussion-settlement-class-members/