By Joseph M. Hanna, of Goldberg Segalla
Ten former NFL players filed their brief opposing the NFL’s settlement plan that is now before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for review, citing that the plan unfairly excluded players who have yet to be diagnosed with CTE, a degenerative brain condition.
The opposing players argue that the plan overlooks a potential 19,000 players who are likely to develop neurological diseases but have yet to be diagnosed with any. A lawyer for the players said, “It is the height of hypocrisy for the parties to defend a settlement that offers nothing for CTE to the vast majority of class members by arguing that those claims could not prevail at trial because the science is too new.”
The players named in the brief are Vincent Clark, Judson Flint, Robert Jackson, Ken Jones, Cleo Miller, Lou Piccone, Jim Rourke, Fred Smerlas, Elmer Underwood, and J. David Wilkins.
While the NFL and the settling former players must respond to the brief by September 15, there is no set schedule for the appeals court to hear the case.
Additionally, three more players, Jimmie H. Jones, Ricky Ray, and Jesse Solomon, are reported to have also filed a brief opposing the settlement plan because it only provides a remedy for players who are diagnosed with CTE as of the date the plan was finally approved by the district court but excludes those diagnosed with it after that date.