NFL Settlement Takes a Hit as Judge Demands Changes

A federal judge has scuttled a settlement over past concussions between the National Football League and thousands of its retired players over concussions.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody noted specifically that the payment eligibility for some players and families needed to be expanded. Specifically, she wants to see retired players, who died of the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy after she granted preliminary approval of the accord last July 7, be covered by the settlement.

In addition, she believes the settlement should be extended in some modest way to cover participants in the World League of American Football, the NFL Europe League, and the NFL Europa League.

The changes would “enhance the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy” of the settlement. She gave attorneys for the two sides until Feb. 13 to address her concerns, or explain why they are unable to.

In a statement, attorney Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the former players, said:

“We are grateful to Judge Brody for her guidance and continued efforts to protect the rights of all class members. We look forward to finalizing this agreement so that retired players can begin taking advantage of its benefits.”

The NFL, meanwhile, gave its two cents:

“We intend promptly to discuss with class counsel the points addressed in the order and continue to have a high degree of confidence that this settlement — which has been accepted by more than 99 percent of retirees — will receive final approval and provide important and generous benefits to retirees and their families


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