Tag Archives: professor

The NFL Concussion Settlement and the Ethics of Informed Choice

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an execrpt from an exclusive article written by Richard Robeson and Nancy M. P. King for the February issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. The authors are professors from Wake Forest University)

In January 2014, Judge Anita B. Brody rejected1 the terms of a class action settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and a litigation class consisting of former NFL players with concussion-related health issues and the descendants and heirs of deceased players whose deaths were related to concussions — mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) — sustained during their playing careers. Although the amount of the settlement was agreed to by both plaintiffs’ attorneys and attorneys for the NFL, Judge Brody expressed concern that its $765 million cap would be inadequate to the medical and financial needs of not only the more than 5, 000 former players who filed suit but also some 18, 000 former players who would be eligible over the settlement’s 65-year term.2 Judge Brody therefore ordered the cap to be lifted and the settlement renegotiated. Some current players also expressed dissatisfaction with the settlement, with one player pointing out that $765 million divided by the League’s 32 teams was equivalent to one-third of the average one-year salary per team.3 Another player called it “hush money,”4 because one of the conditions of the agreement was that the NFL would not admit to any wrongdoing regarding its handling of concussions or its own concussion research.5

The renegotiated settlement approved in April 2015 by Judge Brody is now worth $1 billion;6 and over the last several years the NFL has drastically altered how it handles possible concussions7 and Return-to-Participation.8 Even so, the settlement’s exclusions9 — not least among them being that no one who retired after July 7, 2014 can benefit — have been the cause of yet more recrimination and appeal. Some plaintiffs are especially dissatisfied that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that is associated with repeated concussions (recurrent MTBI), is a diagnosis that is expressly not covered by the settlement.10 This latter exclusion is the essential cause of the appeal, a ruling upon which is anticipated early this year. These putative shortcomings have significant implications for current players, including how the matter of informed consent may be regarded. … (To read more, subsccribe here.)

Posted in College, General, Litigation, Other Sports, Professional | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The NFL Concussion Settlement and the Ethics of Informed Choice

Northern Illinois University Faculty Delving into Concussions

NIU faculty delving into concussions | NIU Newsroom

Posted in College, Football, General, Other Sports | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Northern Illinois University Faculty Delving into Concussions

Sports Law Symposium Explores the ‘Concussion Conundrum’

On March 15, The 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium will feature a session called Concussion Conundrum, which “explores, debates, and informs on the key issues facing players, teams, leagues, doctors, and lawyers regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports.”

Panels include commentary from well-known retired professional athletes about concussion awareness and prevention amongst players; an examination of both sides of the NFL Concussion Injury Litigation—the concussion injury class action suit brought by former NFL players against the league; an exploration of the science and concussion-related liability facing professional and amateur sports; and a look at where we are and where we are going with media personalities commenting on the state of sports and concussions.

Andrew Brandt, Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and NFL Business Analyst, has covered the concussion issue for ESPN and will be moderating all panels.

The Symposium takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons at the Villanova University School of Law. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 2 substantive CLE credits. The event is free for non-CLE attendees.

To register, visit http://mooradsportslawjournal.eventbrite.com/#

Among the relevant panels are:

Panel 1: Framing the Issue

The Symposium will begin with a conversation between Andrew Brandt and former athletes, including some that have taken strong and public positions about concussions in sports. Brandt and the players will discuss concussion awareness, prevention and treatment from their playing days as well as their view of the present environment. Participating former players are:

Brian Westbrook, former player for the Philadelphia Eagles

Keith Primeau, former player for the Philadelphia Flyers and founder of www.stopconcussions.com

Jim Nelson, former player for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, and Baltimore Ravens

Taylor Twellman, former Major League Soccer player and current ESPN analyst and concussions commentator

Panel 2: Building the Case— A Legal and Medical Background of Concussions

This panel will explore liability issues of amateur and professional sports and bring a medical perspective to diagnosis and treatment of concussions. It will also feature a perspective of a Villanova Law Student who has written about and experienced the effects of concussions in her and her family’s life. Panel participants are:

Marc Edelman, Associate Professor of Law, Barry University

Dr. Michael Marino, MD, Attending Physician at Drucker Brain Injury Center

Cailyn Reilly, current student at Villanova University School of Law

Panel 3: Concussion Injury Litigation v. NFL: Looking at Both Sides

This panel will explore the key arguments of the case against the NFL featuring one of the lawyers representing the players, Sol Weiss, a class action defense lawyer and the founder of the definitive Internet site on concussion litigation. It will be a balanced and in-depth look at the major issues of this key case in sports right now. Panel participants are:

J. Gordon Cooney, Jr. ’84 VLS, Partner at Morgan Lewis, expert on the defense of class actions suits

Sol Weiss ’72 VLS, Shareholder at Anapol Schwartz, Co-lead Counsel in NFL Concussion Injury Litigation

Paul D. Anderson, Practicing attorney and creator of www.NFLConcussionLitigation.com, Editor of Concussion Litigation Reporter

Posted in Football, Litigation, Other Sports, Professional | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Sports Law Symposium Explores the ‘Concussion Conundrum’