Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Remember that NFL concussion settlement from last summer? Re-read the reporting on it.

I was surprised when I heard the latest news about last summer's NFL concussion settlement.

A federal judge denied preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims, fearing it may not be enough to cover 20,000 retired players.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody asked for more financial information from the parties, a week after players' lawyers filed a detailed payout plan for her review.

However, I shouldn't have been surprised. I went back and read one of the stories from last August very carefully.

The NFL has reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players, agreeing to compensate victims, pay for medical exams and underwrite research.

Did you catch that sixth word? "Tentative"?

I should have been paying attention.

The odd thing about this denial of preliminary approval is that both sides, including the players' lawyers, had been satisfied with the initial tentative settlement - partially because the players' lawyers were concerned about the costs of players going to trial, and having to prove that any concussion symptoms were caused by football.

Of course, I missed one other tidbit from that August report:

Christopher Seeger, the plaintiffs' lead attorney, said ... he expects preliminary approval of the agreement by Brody within the next two months.

Well, it's five months later. Looks like everyone involved missed the deadline. (Elvis Dumervil, by the way, is now a Baltimore Raven - and according to Wikipedia, he fired his agent.)
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