The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 23, 2014

Our View: Players also responsible for concussions

Why It Matters: A good number of NFL players appear to regard concussions as merely short-term injuries and part of the game.


The proposed settlement of that lawsuit, announced last August just as the season was about to begin, was at least temporarily rejected last week by federal judge Anita Brody, who voiced concern that the $765 million would not be sufficient. She wants more details on the math.

The lawyers involved in the settlement appear to believe they can satisfy the judge. Until they do, the suit will continue to shadow the league, just as the effects of repeated brain injury shadow the players.

The NFL has been dubbed the “league of denial” for its years of scoffing at the concussion issue. Today’s players, chafing at the changes intended to at least minimize brain damage, are establishing that NFL management isn’t alone in that denial.

Other View on this topic

“I am primarily concerned that not all retired NFL football players who ultimately receive a qualifying diagnosis or their (families) ... will be paid.

“Even if only 10 percent of retired NFL football players eventually receive a qualifying diagnosis, it is difficult to see how the Monetary Award Fund would have the funds available over its lifespan to pay all claimants at these significant award levels.

Plaintiffs allege that their economists conducted analyses to ensure that there would be sufficient funding to provide benefits to all eligible Class Members given the size of the Settlement Class and projected incidence rates, and Plaintiffs’ counsel “believe” that the aggregate sum is sufficient to compensate all Retired NFL Football Players who may receive Qualifying Diagnoses.

Unfortunately, no such analyses were provided to me in support of the Plaintiffs’ Motion. In the absence of additional supporting evidence, I have concerns about the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the Settlement.”

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, who denied preliminary approval of the NFL concussion settlement plan

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