Well, now that the final concussion lawsuit settlement offer got approved and crammed down the retired players’ throats without so much as a Discovery phase or a full open trial, things are actually going to get very interesting. While there are many separate lawsuits that have been filed and will continue to work their way through the courts, the majority of suits are considered “settled” and that now leaves $125 million to be paid out almost immediately to the attorneys as the final close approaches. $125 MILLION! And it will all be paid out in one lump sum unlike the 65-year period the NFL negotiated to “take care of older and younger retired players” as they deal with their issues from football. (There will also be some ongoing lawsuits that were filed on behalf of players who opted out of the settlement offer.)
So the real battle will be among all the lawyers who filed lawsuits for the players with many jumping on the bandwagon at the very end. Does anyone believe that $125 million paid immediately upon settlement wasn’t a primary motivator for not going to trial and accepting this “wonderful” settlement for you players? And do you think the NFL’s lawyers didn’t have this in mind when they offered it?
Several of these attorneys are also fighting for bragging rights as the “First-to-File” (we know who they are and I’ve posted about our meetings with them since this first started years back). Those attorneys were represented on the committee that was originally formed to oversee and handle the negotiations directly with the NFL. (And some also personally promised me, “We’ll take care of you…” for all the work I’d done over the years in helping educate and to get the word out to the players during our past Conferences and blog posts – we’ll see…)
No doubt the $125 million added a strong incentive to get this settlement finalized so quickly. The media continues to be all over the place on what the actual settlement covers for all the retired players. I still continue to see a $1 billion settlement amount posted by reporters even in major media sources like ESPN when in fact, as part of the final negotiated agreement, the NFL actually agreed to lift the cap off their original offer of $1 billion. (It’s not too hard to do the math: Even if only half of the retired players – approximately 9,000 – actually received a piece of a $1 billion settlement, it only averages out to little over $100,000 per player.) And then the lawyers will also get another 30% in fees from the settlement for each player they represented.
Here’s a recent piece from The Legal Intelligencer with a lawyer’s perspective:
P.J. D’Annunzio, The Legal Intelligencer
February 23, 2017
Although the NFL concussion litigation has ended in a $1 billion settlement, a new dispute has kicked off as the players’ attorneys rush to score a piece of the $112.5 million pot of legal fees.
Earlier this month, Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss, the lead attorneys for the players, filed a request in federal court to award them the multimillion attorney fee amount along with giving Seeger the authority to pay the other lawyers involved in the case.
You can read the rest of PJ D’Annunzio’s article by clicking HERE.