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Retired NFL Players Newsletter, June 2019

advocacy for fairness in sports law

The NFL Concussion Settlement
Has Reached a Dangerous Tipping Point

I’ve decided to create a newsletter in order to keep retired NFL Players and their families apprised of developments in the NFL Concussion Settlement. I’ve gone through my contact lists and tried to include people that I felt might be interested in receiving this newsletter. If I’ve included you and you do not desire further contact, please use the opt-out link at the bottom of the newsletter and I won’t further impose on you. If you are forwarded this letter and feel you should have been included, I offer my apologies. Please use the subscribe link at the end of this email to ensure that you receive further updates.
Judge Anita Brody

Last Friday, as the courts were winding down for Memorial Day weekend, Judge Anita Brody, in a very “Trumpian” move, as one attorney described it, issued an order firing all class counsel not named Christopher Seeger.

This has broad ramifications for all members of the settlement class who have not yet received monetary awards, especially those suffering from dementia. You can read more about her ruling here, and how it harms retired players and their families.

NFL Concussion Settlement - Anita Brody, Roger Goodell, Chris Seeger

In all, I’ve written over 80 articles on the settlement, endeavoring to keep on top of the latest developments and report them as quickly as possible. Since this is the first newsletter I’ve published, I have no way of knowing how frequently readers have checked in on the blog. For that reason, I’ve created a table of links in chronological order arranged by topic to inform of developments over the past year. For quick reference, you can access the article directory here.

I feel it would be to players’ advantage to take action and help to bring media attention to these important developments that have largely been ignored. I’ve been made aware of a campaign to send letters to Judge Brody, which I would encourage, but since she has shown little concern for retired players, and seems to be convinced she must protect the NFL, I’m not optimistic that much will come from it. Many of you have signed letters to Judge Brody in the past, which she has largely ignored. I do feel that there are options, however, and a few of those would be writing to your state’s attorney general and informing him or her of what is taking place, how you’re impacted, and how the state will wind up covering much of the cost of medical care that the NFL should be covering through the settlement. Along the same line, letters to congressmen and senators could also be helpful, especially if hearings are requested, with all parties being able to present testimony and evidence so that they are not skewed toward the NFL narrative which can easily be debunked.

I have other ideas as well but hesitate to disclose them in a letter that will be publicly circulated. If you’re interested in discussing, please contact me and I will consider creating a private forum for discussion if there is enough interest. I’d encourage participation, albeit in different ways for players/families who have received their awards and those who have been issued a final denial. I understand that players who are still in the cue and awaiting a final decision are in a precarious position, so I think roles for each group will be different, but equally important. I’m happy to discuss individually with any player or family member who has questions or wishes to share information on their experiences. As always, communications of this nature will be kept confidential and anonymous. I hope that by working together we can help to bring some positive change.

eye glasses
Finally, I’d like to call your attention to two research opportunities I’ve recently become aware of. The first is being conducted at a major university in Canada, and the study is focused on the impact of concussions and their aftermath on families. The professor leading the study hopes to include perspective from the families of active athletes who are dealing with the day to day challenges of a family member’s concussive brain injury, and also people like you, who are dealing with the post-career damage. I hope that some of you will consider sharing your experiences. No individuals will be identified, but the purpose of the study is to understand the issues that families face and help to address these concerns.

The other study is focusing on the impact of bankruptcy on those who are entitled to mass tort settlement proceeds. This is not focused specifically on the NFL settlement, but also those who have been harmed by medical devices, dangerous drugs, or other injuries by corporate defendants. The study is being conducted by a Top 50 U.S. law school with the purpose of determining how many people are impacted and how plaintiffs are damaged when their awards are whittled down to satisfy a bankruptcy trustee when in many instances, the bankruptcy itself was caused by the injury that the plaintiff is receiving a monetary award for. As with the other study, identifying info will be kept confidential. I hope that those who have been impacted by bankruptcy will consider participating.

If you are interested in learning more about these studies, please contact me for additional information.

Thanks for reading!


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