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Excerpt from Federal Judge Brody’s Decision on Settlement Yesterday

What follows is an excerpt of the analysis from Federal Judge Anita Brody’s decision yesterday:

“Counsel for the Plaintiffs and the NFL Parties have made a commendable effort to reach a negotiated resolution to this dispute. There is nothing to indicate that the Settlement is not the result of good faith, arm’s-length negotiations between adversaries. Nonetheless, on the basis of the present record, I am not yet satisfied that the Settlement ‘has no obvious deficiencies, grants no preferential treatment to segments of the class, and falls within the range of possible approval.’ Cordy v. USS-Posco Indus., No. 12-553, 2013 WL 4028627, at *3 (N.D. Cal. July31, 2013)

“I am primarily concerned that not all Retired NFL Football Players who ultimately receive a Qualifying Diagnosis or their related claimants will be paid. The Settlement fixes the size of the Monetary Award Fund. It also fixes the Monetary Award level for each Qualifying Diagnosis, subject to a variety of offsets. In various hypothetical scenarios, the Monetary Award Fund may lack the necessary funds to pay Monetary Awards for Qualifying Diagnoses. More specifically, the Settlement contemplates a $675 million Monetary Award Fund with a 65-year life span for a Settlement Class of approximately 20,000 people. Retired NFL Football Players with a Qualifying Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, for example, are eligible for a maximum award of $3.5 million; those with a Qualifying Diagnosis of ALS may receive up to $5 million.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.”

 

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