And here’s Season 2 of GQ’s Casualties of the Gridiron. Has anything changed for retired players? Do players expect things to get any better with the so-called NFL concussion lawsuit settlement?
Back in 2013, GQ produced a documentary that followed several retired NFL players on their journey after leaving the game. The long-term effects of injuries to their bodies and their brains has serious impacts not only on them but their families, all with little or no attention or benefits from the NFL once they’re no longer of any use to them.
Here’s Season 1.
In some of our past posts, we’ve often pointed out the Heads-We-Win-Tails-You-Lose approach with all too many lawyers and lawsuits. And we pointed out that the plaintiffs’ attorneys for the NFL concussion lawsuits will be fighting over how to divide up their $112 million legal fees offered to them almost as soon as the settlement actually closes (but not before all appeals are done). But on top of the $112 million, many of the attorneys will also be claiming fees (typically around 35%) from players’ individual awards (if they ever receive anything over the 65 year term of the agreement).
Late last week, retired NFL players Gale Sayers, Lem Barney, Thomas Skladany, Thomas Vaughn, Jerry Rush, Kenneth Callicutt, and Eric Hipple filed a complaint in US District Court in Pennsylvania against the law firms of Hausfeld, LLP, Zimmerman Reed, LLP, Locks Law Firm, LLC, Bondurant, Mixson, & Elmore, LLP, and Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. The retired players are seeking a declaratory judgment against any liens or potential liens those law firms may have on any potential monetary awards those players might receive from the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement offer. The suit was filed by Arthur Goldman and Shawn Rodgers of Arthur Goldman LLC for the law firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis, & Acho, PLC which has been representing many in this group of players over the years.
We’ve uploaded a copy of the filing to Scribd for easy reading and downloading. Click on the Enlarge button in the lower right corner to enlarge in another tab for easier viewing. Continue reading
So the NFL looks like it may have dodged another bullet in the recent Circuit Court ruling against the retired players in the Concussion lawsuit settlement. But there are always unintended consequences to everything. And as always, the League expects someone else to pay. A couple of interesting new developments today both of which are now consequences emerging from this recent ruling. (You can read about it in our earlier post including a copy of the ruling by clicking HERE.)
Back in 2012 after the first concussion lawsuits started to work their way through the courts, the NFL’s insurance companies pushed back on limiting their liabilities for covering the League’s payouts on their liability coverage policies (in part because of the Riddell helmet lawsuit. So of course, the NFL ended up suing over 30 insurance companies in California and the insurance companies fired back with countersuits in New York to deny liability. All of this got put on hold for the past couple of years while the NFL concussion suit made its way through the court in Pennsylvania.
Well, in March of this year, New York State Judge Jeffrey K. Oing declared that the insurance cases should move forward in his court. And now that Judge Anita Brody’s ruling has been certified by the Third Circuit Court earlier this month, Judge Oing has just allowed the insurance companies to begin discovery in collecting documents as well as interviewing League officials and their doctors to gather evidence for their arguments. So now we have megabillion-dollar insurance companies going toe-to-toe with the puny $10 billion NFL.
For your weekend viewing: A couple of interviews with Dr. Don Brady on the Joe Condon Show from late last year covering brain injuries, along with an educational video from Dr. Daniel Amen on how a concussion happens.
Patrick Hruby has been doing a great job in covering the NFL concussion lawsuit and the subsequent settlement offers and appeals since the litigation started. His latest post on VICE sports talks about some discussions he’s already had with some players and how they reacted to the latest ruling from the appeals court in Pennsylvania. Re-posted with his permission.
The Rejected NFL Concussion Settlement Appeal Leaves Former Players With CTE High And Dry
This morning, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia issued their opinion on the appeal filings against the NFL’s concussion settlement offer. Not surprisingly, the ruling supports the original opinion from Judge Anita Brody on the NFL’s terms of settlement – it was “for the greater good of all players.” And of course, the plaintiffs’ attorneys pushing for the settlement are looking at carving up an upfront payday of $112 million PLUS a cut of every individual settlement (typically around 30%+) for each player they represent in a successful individual case.
And basically, without a trial, the NFL is not held guilty for any lifetime concussion injuries sustained by its employees (therefore no damages), CTE is not acknowledged following the final settlement and there will be no future acknowledgment or compensation for CTE from this agreement. This would be like the Big Tobacco companies being let off the hook for future claims of lung cancer from smoking: “Nah. There’s no link.” Continue reading
Seems the NFL has their fingers into every pie they can to make sure they can cover their asses when things get out of hand. Last week, Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians slammed Moms for attacking football because the shifting tide of parents wanting to protect their kids. (Click HERE to read that story on AZCentral.)
Then today? In a very fast reversal, Arians was given the ‘Voice of Women‘ award by… you guessed it: The Arizona Foundation for Women. Seriously?
Well, after a long quiet period, it was just announced that NCAA football players will soon be receiving checks in the mail for their images being used in video games from Electronic Arts. Like the earlier lawsuit against the NFL and Electronic Arts several years back, the NCAA was also sued along with EA and Collegiate Licensing for using players’ images and participation in the reproduced college games.
Things are getting very interesting in the most recent NFL CTE/concussion lawsuit.
Last week, retired player Terry Scroggins had a lawsuit filed against the NFL by his attorney, Tim Howard, in US District Court Fort Lauderdale. Of course, it didn’t take long for the NFL’s attorneys to file arguments in an attempt to have the suit disqualified and dismissed. Howard & Associates have now filed an amended suit with additional claims including details on the NFL’s actions as defined under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act (a federal law designed to combat organized crime in the United States). It allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.
We’ve uploaded a copy of the amended filing along with attachments to Scribd for easier viewing and downloading. You can enlarge the viewing window by clicking on the Enlarge button in the lower right corner of the document screen.