Honorable Senior Judge Anita Brody
James A Byrne U.S. Courthouse 601 Market Street
Room 7613, Courtroom 7-B
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1717
November 13, 2017
Dear Judge Brody:
The undersigned are members of the NFL Concussion Settlement Class. We are retired players, wives and family members who placed our trust in you and your Court. Most of us have pending claims that were filed in the spring. We have tried to be patient and understand that a backlog exists but instead of approvals we are facing deficiency notices, countless delays, and denials.
News coverage has become scant, but we have formed groups that watch your court docket and we are aware of all of the recent filings to secure proper administration of claims in accordance with the written Settlement Agreement and we have seen Co-Lead Class Counsel Christopher Seeger “arm in arm” with NFL Counsel in opposing any action that would provide us any relief. We have completely lost confidence in him and his firm and in view of his enormous fee request, while we continue to wait to see if our claims will even survive, have come to seriously doubt his motives and his commitment to fairly serving the Class he was appointed by your Court to represent.
He personally represents none of us but has shut out input from all other Counsel, including those who were appointed as Class Counsel and Steering Committee members. At the urging of Mr. Seeger, some of us have not retained an attorney and are completely lost as to how to navigate this endless obstacle course.
Often we try to contact his firm with no success. Those of us who are pro se have dealt with the Claims Administrator’s office with little in the way of guidance. We note in Orran Brown’s declaration that he is administering the Settlement in accordance with the wishes of Co-Lead Class Counsel and NFL Counsel. What about the rest of us? We are now part of a Settlement that seems intent on changing the rules that were agreed to in writing.
We are also aware of a November 7, change in criteria that will make it more difficult for our claims to survive.
Your Honor, many of our brethren have died during the time this Settlement was negotiated; some of us became widows during that time. When the Settlement was finally approved we began to feel a ray of hope but that is being extinguished more and more each day. Some of us are dying; we are sick, we are dealing with depression and anxiety that has spread to our families. Some of us have lost our homes; some of us will in the near future without relief. We do not wish to be a burden to our families and we trusted you with our security, please do not fail us.
We are deeply troubled by your scheduled in-chamber conference with only Mr. Seeger, NFL Counsel and Special Masters invited. This is not a transparent process. We need to know that our own attorneys are being heard; those of us who are pro se would also appreciate a chance to voice our concerns to ensure that a thorough discussion takes place. We also respectfully request that the hearing is recorded and made available on Pacer through the ECF system so that each of us will have a chance to hear the discussion. Likewise we request that our letter to you is filed through ECF as part of the court record.
This is your legacy, and our future. Please, show the concern for the Class that you did early on and restore our hope.
Mary Lou Andrie
Mary Beth Blair
Charles (Chip) Myrtle
Rudolph Council, Jr.
Janet Dinsmore McCoy
Brett K. Miller
Edna E. Osborne
William Van Huesen