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Friday, January 17, 2014

Judge Refuses to Sign Off on NFL Settlement

Workers' compensation has been a successful vehicle to shield employers from liability. Perhaps the the NFL should have considered when the legislated some professional athletes out of compensation court. Today's post was shared by WSJ Law Blog and comes from

A federal judge on Tuesday refused to sign off on the NFL’s $760 million concussion settlement with retired players because of concerns that the pot of money might be too small to adequately compensate everyone owed money.
The ruling puts on hold what had been a major victory for the league on a controversial issue that had long haunted the sport. The deal reached last summer after months of negotiations required the NFL to pay $760 million — mostly in the form of medical benefits and injury compensation — to thousands of former players and their families.
A former federal judge acting as a court-appointed mediator endorsed the proposed settlement in court papers this month, calling it “fair and reasonable.”
U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody of Pennsylvania, though, wasn’t convinced, denying her preliminary approval.
“I am primarily concerned that not all Retired NFL Football Players who ultimately receive a Qualifying Diagnosis or their related claimants will be paid,” Judge Brody wrote in her order. “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.”
Judge Brody said economists who conducted an analysis on behalf of the retired players believed that the sum was enough. That report, though, wasn’t submitted in...
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