Oh Boy! Another NFL Concussion Study

At this point, everyone knows the NFL’s standard approach to controlling the media and the dialog about all-things-football. It was last September when the League made that huge announcement on their $100 million partnership with the CDC to study concussions just as football season was starting. Well, it’s football season again – time to make a new announcement!

We also know that when things don’t go their way, it’s time to throw more money at something else until you get the results you want. And now with more confirmed statistics emerging on the overwhelming presence of CTE in retired players’ brains (post-mortem now), it’s time for another distraction.

In an earlier post about the League’s dissatisfaction with the results so far with that $100 million pledge to fund concussion studies with the CDC (click HERE to read that post), you may recall their original promise to uphold the importance of an objective hands-off approach. Well, that didn’t last very long. With over $40 million remaining of their $100 million pledge, the League tried to step in and have one of the neurologists removed from the study. When that didn’t go their way, they immediately withdrew their commitment for the balance of the study. (Sounds like a lot of your contracts too, doesn’t it? If you don’t collect your money up front, you’re probably going to get screwed).

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Strokes: What did They Know and When Did They Know it?

As a few of my closest friend already know, I ended up in ICU exactly 2 weeks ago because of a hemorrhagic stroke. Totally unexpected and caught everyone off-guard – especially me! I was fortunate for many reasons, one of which was being able to recognize the symptoms quickly and then NOT being a typical guy in how I responded!

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Concussion Lawsuit Plaintiffs: How Much is Enough?

More of the plaintiffs in the NFL Concussion Lawsuit just filed their objections to the high “industry-standard” fees that many of their designated attorneys are expecting to receive should a clear settlement actually come through. As cited, most of these plaintiffs had little communication or actual work done by the lawyers they had signed with in the early stages of organizing the class while many attorneys had also jumped on the bandwagon much later.

We’ve uploaded this 18-page motion to Scrbd to make it easier to print and download. You can also enlarge this document for easier viewing by clicking on the Enlarge button in the lower right corner (and hit ESC to get out of Full Screen mode).

BTW – Appendix A lists the players filing this objection through The Neurocognitive Football Lawyers PLLC et al against the list of attorneys in Appendix B. Continue reading

When Things Don’t Quite Go Your Way…

And even if it’s just a paltry few million, you know the League will still cut your study off at the kneecaps if they see the results totally going against them; they won’t ever hesitate to cut off your pledged funding.

Remember back 5 years ago when the NFL tried another PR stunt by making a pledge to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) for $30 million to study the link between football and concussions (just like they did by helping kick off Sports Legacy Institute – now called the Concussion Legacy Foundation – with their initial $1 million donation!).

Our friend, Patrick Hruby, wrote a terrific post about that settlement deal back in November 2015 – click HERE to read that piece.

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Final Order on NFL Painkillers Lawsuit

Judge William Alsup issued his final ruling in the NFL Painkiller lawsuit on Friday and it’s clear that he leans more in favor of employers over employees.

Our friend, Sheilla Dingus, posted some interesting initial observations on Alsup’s ruling on her site Advocacy for Fairness in Sports. (Posted here in its entirety with her permission.)

Judge Alsup Denies Remaining Claims in NFL Painkiller Lawsuit

July 22, 2017
Sheilla Dingus

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OJ Simpson Granted Parole after Serving 9 years

After being in a Nevada prison for 9 years of a possible 33-year sentence for armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole unanimously by the state parole board. He could be released as early as October 1st.

One More Court-Ordered Shark Alert

Last month, we posted a Shark Alert about the nasty attorneys who have been using every dirty trick they can to get retired players to sign up for “legal representation” in order to get an unearned cut of their possible settlements now that all the legal work has already been done by the original law firms who filed the lawsuits. And the order also covers those “loan” companies also crawling out to offer high interest cash advances against players’ future settlement money that they might receive. Several have even tried to make themselves look like they’re official NFL Settlement firms. You can read our June 14th post – Shark Warning – by clicking HERE.

There are already some players dropping these bottom-feeding lawyers and they’re now facing liens being imposed by those same lawyers arguing the “value” of their so-called services. Even though this isn’t one of those huge million-plaintiff class action lawsuits, the amount of money involved is significant and certainly setting some new lows.

The New York Times Ken Belson recently wrote another detailed article on this feeding frenzy last weekend and it’s cited in the Appendix in this order. You can read After N.F.L. Concussion Settlement Feeding Frenzy of Lawyers and Lenders by clicking HERE.

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Bob Stein on the NFL Films Dental Plan

EDITOR’S NOTE: We just received this update from Bob Stein on the NFL Films Dental Plan so posting it now to keep everyone informed!

To my fellow retired players –

The Dryer v. NFL Settlement Agreement called for NFL payments of $50 million. The majority – about $42 million – will be paid over 8 years into a non-profit Common Good Entity to benefit retired players by donating to other charities and health/welfare organizations for specific charitable purposes including medical research, medical screenings, mental health programs, wellness programs, career transition and health/dental insurance. It also established an agency to license retired player publicity rights, the original subject of the Dryer litigation.

The Common Good Entity and Licensing Agency are managed by the Pro Football Retired Players Association with a Board made up of retired players. They decide where the money is used and how the Licensing Agency operates.

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NFL Films Settlement Dental Plan

A couple of players have reached out to me and asked about a notification letter they just received from the Pro Football Retired Players Association. The letter included membership information for a dental plan provided by MetLife as part of the settlement, apparently for the life of the settlement.

I sure don’t remember any dental plan as part of the settlement but hey – if it’s included, why not?

If any attorneys or players can provide more details on this, please feel free to share what you know.

Here’s a copy of the letter (just click on the letter to enlarge for easier reading and hit ESC to close). Name is covered to protect the innocent.

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Concussion Settlement Opt-Outs Get More Time

On Wednesday, Judge Anita Brody signed off on an order allowing the Opt-Out plaintiffs in the NFL concussion lawsuit to file a longer amended complaint, provided it’s filed by July 11, 2017.

We just uploaded the 3-page order to Scribd to make it easy to print and download. You can also enlarge this document for easier viewing by clicking on the Enlarge button in the lower right corner (and hit ESC to get out of Full Screen mode).

ORDER Allowing Opt Outs to Proceed w Second Amended Complaint on Scribd

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Warren Sapp on Concussions

Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp (1995 – 2007 • Tampa Bay Buccaneers & Oakland Raiders) tells it like it is about football and concussions. Knowing what he knows now about brain injuries, Sapp wants his brain diagnosed for CTE when he passes away.

Updates on the Concussion Settlement

Here are two more filings from Judge Brody’s court on the NFL Concussion lawsuit settlement. One is a protection order to cover the master administrators of the settlement and the second filing is an update (incl Appendices) on progress so far as reported to Judge Brody.

Some interesting numbers on first glance:

As of June 5, 2017, 14,507 people have submitted registration forms, including 12,082 Retired NFL Football Players, 546 Representative Claimants, and 1,879 Derivative Claimants.

The Settlement Class Members are registering overwhelmingly through the online Registration Portal (over half of the registrations to date were submitted on an individual basis through the portal, while 39% of the registrations were submitted in bulk by law firms representing larger numbers of Settlement Class Members), and 55% of the Settlement Class Members are represented by counsel.

BrownGreer is continuously processing registration submissions and working with Settlement Class Members to cure any deficiencies that may exist. In addition, BrownGreer is working to confirm claims of legal representation asserted on behalf of Settlement Class Members, including conflicting claims by different lawyers and/or law firms.

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Shark Warning

Over the years, many of you have told me about those high-end loan scammers who have taken advantage of your situation while awaiting disability and pension settlements pending through the courts and arbitration processes. Not that different from high-interest check services and others who tie you up with high-interest loans using your future settlements as collateral. Unfortunately, many of you never received your earned benefits (as we’ve discovered) and end up with huge liens that continue to grow with compound interest. And some of you have had to declare personal bankruptcy to finally clean up that debt. While it’s late in the game, it’s good to finally see a proactive approach to this evil practice. Be forewarned.

Last week, attorneys for Kevin Turner and Shawn Wooden representing the concussion settlement plaintiffs requested a court order to notify all the players about ongoing solicitations and misrepresentation by several loan shark firms that have been openly contacting retired players offering them high-interest loans against possible future funds from the settlement offer. In many cases, highly deceptive communications were used in an attempt to sign up applications for these loans. Judge Anita Brody put her stamp of approval on sending out a warning notice to the players this Monday.

We uploaded the original request and the subsequent court order to Scribd to make it easy to view, print and download. You can click on the Full Screen button in the lower right corner of each document window for easier reading (just hit ESC to close).

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Here’s the 2017 NFLPA LM-2

Here we go with this year’s LM-2 filing for the NFLPA just released at the end of May. 525 pages this year!

Quick Glance: They now report 9,065 members compared to last year’s total of 6,542 members. And they closed the year with over $465 million in assets (compared to $401 million last year). DeMaurice Smith is still at the top of the salary tree with his nearly $2.7 million paycheck (and he has a line item for $67,000 of Super Bowl tickets!).

We encourage everyone to look over this latest filing and post a comment below on any interesting items that caught your attention (there are a few!).

We’ve uploaded a copy of the 2016/2017 NFLPA LM-2 to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close): Continue reading

Leonard Marshall Donates Brain to Ongoing CTE Study

Two-time Super Bowl winner, Leonard Marshall, is the latest retired NFL player to add his name to the growing list of brain donors for postmortem detection of CTE study.