In Affirming Settlement, Third Circuit Chose not to Make ‘the Perfect the Enemy of the Good’

Criticism will rain down on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today for affirming the $1 billion settlement in the NFL ‘s concussion lawsuit. Critics will note that it is not enough in light of the evolving science that suggests that many, many more players will suffer from the after effects of football-induced traumatic brain injuries.

However, the immediate needs cannot be ignored, the panel reasoned in the following conclusion:

“It is the nature of a settlement that some will be dissatisfied with the ultimate result. Our case is no different, and we do not doubt that objectors are well-intentioned in making thoughtful arguments against certification of the class and approval of this settlement. They aim to ensure that the claims of retired players are not given up in exchange for anything less than a generous settlement agreement negotiated by very able representatives. But they risk making the perfect the enemy of the good. This settlement will provide nearly $1 billion in value to the class of retired players. It is a testament to the players, researchers, and advocates who have worked to expose the true human costs of a sport so many love. Though not perfect, it is fair.

“In sum, we affirm because we are satisfied that the District Court ably exercised its discretion in certifying the class and approving the settlement.”

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