Larry King Live on Brain Injuries in the NFL

We just came across this Larry King Now episode on Head Trauma in the NFL from January 2013, not long after Junior Seau committed suicide.

Superbowl Champion Fred McCrary, Jacksonville Jaguar Marcedes Lewis, Sports Illustrated writer Jim Trotter and our very own brain doctor, Dr. Daniel Amen join Larry to discuss brain injuries and possible solutions. (You can enlarge the video to full screen by clicking the button in the lower right corner.)

Patrick Hruby: Cutting Them Short

EDITOR’S NOTE: Another deeper analysis digging into more details of the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement offer from Patrick Hruby. We’ve been given permission to post his article here for retired players to read. This long piece is a MUST-READ if you want to get a better understanding of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways you’ll likely be disqualified for the NFL’s generous uncapped offer. Be sure to tell us in the Comments section if you still feel this offer is a great deal after reading Patrick’s article.
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Cutting Them Short

Patrick Hruby July 18, 2014

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At Last! NFLPA Sued for Concussions!

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Well, it was just a question of time. Former NFL players Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks just filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA for their negligent role in covering up the damage from concussions in football. Also named in the suit are former Union Presidents Raymond Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae. Missing so far are the estate of the late Gene Upshaw and current Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. (Be sure to read Smith’s comments in the article attached below – spoken like a true lawyer!) If your own union isn’t responsible for protecting its employees – past, present and future – who is? Especially considering the membership dues it extracts from each current player today.

We’ve uploaded the 40-page filing to Scribd to make it easier to download, read and print. 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

Jim Acho: Stepping Up to the Plate

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Acho is an attorney with the firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis and Acho in Michigan and is best known for his work on the MLB lawsuit for retired players’ benefits. Jim has also represented many retired NFL football players including Lem Barney. This is a recent post from Legal News that covered many of the highlights of his legal career and his battle with MLB. We’re posting this with his permission so our readers can have some insight of what it took behind-the-scenes of battling a major sports League; there are a lot of parallels in how the NFL is taking on its retirees. Jim is not currently involved with any of the NFL lawsuits but has advised many of his football clients over the years.

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Stepping Up to the Plate

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Some Basic Facts about the NFL Settlement

Most of the retired players who have been involved in the NFL concussion class action suits – named plaintiffs or not – have basically been kept completely out of the loop on the negotiations and details during the entire process. Even worse, with a preliminary approval of the settlement offer, it’s now obvious that there will never be any discovery or admission of guilt on the part of the NFL regarding information nor will there be any potential for damages done to the lives this has affected.

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Based on everything currently available, we’ve posted details as researched by journalists like Patrick Hruby that analyze the settlement for what it offers and what it doesn’t cover. As Patrick pointed out in the title of his post, The Devil is in the Details, everyone’s left on their own to review the sparse details that we know about this offer and it’s turning out to be even worse than anyone can imagine. On first glance, it was spun out into the media to sound like an incredible deal for retirees because the NFL had “lifted” the cap on payouts. But with lots of micro-qualifications and details injected into the agreement.

Naturally, we’re not going to expect an objective analysis from the NFL attorneys. But I somehow doubt if a large majority of the Plaintiffs’ Attorneys really want to provide a cold, objective analysis either.

We were fortunate to have been able to catch up with an attorney experienced with brain injury litigation who has not been involved with the NFL or the retired players. Gordon Johnson has been involved in with brain injury lawsuits for 20 yearsread more about his background by clicking HERE.

Gordon had his team created a shocking spreadsheet of retired football players who have died or are clearly diagnosed with the qualifying criteria within the timeline as outlined in the settlement offer. The NFL’s chart is posted first and Brain Injury Law Group’s chart follows. If anyone – ANYONE – out there has any more players they believe should be added to this chart, please feel free to let us know. But based on the information available, there are actually only 20 players they could find who made the narrow qualifications to be included so far. And for a total of…$50,920,000 $42,100,000! Yep! That’s it. Not even $100 million and three of these guys won’t even receive anything because they didn’t play long enough due to their injuries! Small wonder they lifted the cap. Definitely not even $765 million as the NFL would like the media, the fans and the courts to believe. Almost no one qualifies! Continue reading

Some Concussion Infographics

The team that created the award-winning film The Crash Reel clearly did a lot of homework while they were creating their documentary on snowboarder, Kevin Pearce, as he dealt with his severe brain injury. They recently released three infographic charts that cover a range of facts on TBI and have allowed them to be shared. You can check out the trailer below or download the film online – click HERE.

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Patrick Hruby: The Devil is in the Details

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sports Journalist, Patrick Hruby, wrote an exceptionally detailed overview of the preliminary approval of the NFL Concussion settlement offer yesterday and we’ve been given permission to post his article here for the retired players to read. Patrick analyzes the highlights of the objections filed earlier by a growing number of players who have seen through the NFL’s business-as-usual approach to dealing with its retired players.
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The Devil Is In the Details

Patrick Hruby July 8, 2014

Federal judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval to the revised, “uncapped,” brain-damage lawsuit settlement, between the National Football League and more than 4,500 retired players on Monday. What does this mean? Continue reading

Judge Brody Grants Preliminary Approval on Concussion Settlement and…

This is a copy of the objections filed last week by retired NFL players Kevin Turner and Shawn Wooden against approval of the NFL’s recent settlement offer. Judge Anita Brody had granted preliminary approval after the NFL “lifted” the cap on the settlement while leaving most other details vague or ambiguous.

We’ve uploaded the entire 58-page filing to Scribd to make it easier for reading 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).

Objections Filed Against NFL Concussion Settlement

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The NFL was Right: Football Players Die Young

In an ironic twist, the NFL has now been shown to be right. But in a way that no one could have ever imagined.

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NFL Lifts Cap on Concussion Payments

I dont always follow concussion lawsuits

This just in today: In another desperate attempt to close off the concussion lawsuits before the next season starts, the NFL has just offered to lift the cap on cash awards to retired players’ concussion damage claims after Judge Anita Brody rejected their initial $765 million settlement this past spring.

It’s a good small start and we’ll post more official details as they get released. But here are some of the ongoing problems that will likely get buried or ignored moving forward. Hopefully, there will be a few attorneys and retired players will see this for what it it: Another distraction to keep everyone away from the real details. We all know how the NFL’s lawyers love weasels…

They will likely want another medical approval committee and it will likely follow THEIR arbitrary rules. They will also likely insist on all their own “medical experts” for evaluations and reviews. They will probably still include their illegal vesting rules which will exclude a lot of the players who were permanently injured and ejected from the game before qualifying for any benefits (ask George Visger!).

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