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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Concern Raised Over Opt-Out Terms of NFL Concussion Settlement

Today's post was shared by WSJ Law Blog and comes from blogs.wsj.com

When a federal judge refused to sign off on the NFL’s $764 million concussion settlement with retired players earlier this month, both the league and lead plaintiffs’ lawyers portrayed the development as a mere procedural hiccup.

The deal may appear to be within inches from the goal line, but the family of the late NFL star Junior Seau is putting up resistance, emerging as one of the most vocal critics of the proposed settlement.

An attorney for the Seau family filed a memo on Jan. 24 objecting to the tentative terms. The family may not be alone as lawyers representing dozens of former NFL players pore over the fine print of the 85-page proposed deal.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody held off on giving her preliminary approval of the deal because she was concerned that the $764 million might not be enough to cover all potential recipients. She instructed both sides to supply the court with more information on how they arrived at their numbers.

The lawsuit by the Seau family, who are potential class members, stands apart from the bulk of claims, most of which do not involve the death of a player. But some of the family’s objections raise broader concerns that could resonate with other plaintiffs, according to Steve Strauss, the attorney representing Mr. Seau’s children.

Speaking to Law Blog, Mr. Strauss said he was especially concerned by the opt-out terms in the deal.

Plaintiffs who do not want to bind themselves to the settlement would have...

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