The NFL Alumni and the Georgia Chapter are committed to getting you the latest information on the League’s Concussion Settlement Program. We care only that deserving retired players and their families receive their fair share from the settlement in a timely fashion.
The National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation class action settlement became final and effective on January 7, 2017, which is the “Effective Date” of the Settlement Program. The Monetary Awards claims process opened on March 23, 2017, for all registered Settlement Class Members with a Qualifying Diagnosis to submit a Claim Package.
Over 175 claims totaling more than $200 million already have been paid or are scheduled to be paid shortly in the League’s concussion settlement program. The League has committed to pay the costs of the settlement, including all valid claims, to you and your families over its 65-year term.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact the Claims Administrator, BrownGreer PLC, at 1-855-887-3485 or Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger at 212-584-0700 or email@example.com.
Retired Federal Judge Appointed Special Investigator in Concussion Settlement
U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody has appointed a retired Federal Court judge to serve as a special fraud investigator in the ongoing concussion settlement program in Philadelphia.
Judge Brody in her eight-page order last Monday concluded that the appointment of former Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel to the new position is appropriate to ensure the integrity of the concussion settlement program.
In his role as special investigator, Judge Stengel will have the power to issue subpoenas, compel testimony, and retain a firm to assist him in any investigations.
Judge Brody in her December 10 order explained that the investigator’s work “will focus on the role of attorneys or healthcare professionals involved in the submission of potentially fraudulent claims.”
Judge Brody originally had deferred the NFL’s request for a special investigator last July. However, in September, she announced she had changed her mind regarding the present need for this new role.
More than 630 claims totaling $445 million already have been paid or are scheduled to be paid shortly to alumni and/or their families in this case.
We at NFL Alumni hope that this new appointment will not discourage those of you who are suffering and deserving of financial payments from participating in the claims process. We anticipate that the appointment will allow valid claims to proceed more quickly and that it will deter wrongful conduct by outside parties looking to take advantage of both you and the program. We urge you to continue to file your claims.
Payouts In Philadelphia Concussion Settlement Began In Early 2017
The latest numbers for the NFL Concussion Settlement under the supervision of U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia show that 419 claims totaling more than $345 million already have been paid to alumni or their families, and another $80 million in claims have been funded by the NFL for payout.
In addition, more than 4,300 of you have scheduled medical appointments under the Baseline Assessment Program (BAP) and more than 3,800 alumni have already attended your appointments. If you want to schedule a BAP exam, call the Garretson Resolution Group at 855-887-3485.
You may recall that the Settlement became final and effective in January, 2017 and the monetary awards process began two months later.
In a related development, the media reported earlier this month that the family of the late Pro Football Hall of Famer Junior Seau had reached a confidential settlement in its case against the NFL. The family had decided not to be part of the larger class action case in Philadelphia. This brings to conclusion that action against the League. Approximately only 30 retired players remain in individual concussion-related litigation against the NFL.
A new detailed format for Concussion Settlement “Frequently Asked Questions”.
The NFL Concussion Settlement Administrators posted a new, expanded Frequently Asked Questions format with 338 questions and subcategory questions. This FAQ document is easier to access, understand and evaluate with a Table of Contents linked to the Questions and Answers.
Judge Brody Sets A Deadline In Concussion Opt-Out Litigation
U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody issued a two-page order this week addressed to those players and their representatives who opted out of the class settlement concussion case in her court in Philadelphia.
Judge Brody told those “Opt-Out” plaintiffs (those who decided to continue with litigation against the NFL and not be part of the settlement) that they are required to submit by August 31 their personal medical records regarding “neurodegenerative diseases or conditions” or risk having their lawsuits dismissed. Those records should be sent to attorney Wendy Fleishman at Lieff Cabraser, 250 Hudson Street, New York 10013. Judge Brody also ordered that if you have no such medical records you should inform Ms. Fleishman of that as well. Judge Brody concluded her order by writing: “Any Opt-Out Plaintiff’s failure to comply with this Order can result in the dismissal of such Opt-Out Plaintiff’s claims against the NFL Defendants.”
In Settlement Program news, Claims Administrator BrownGreer LLC wrote this week that it has handled more than 55,000 total communications (including phone calls and emails) related to the concussion settlement. The Claims Administrator also stated that it will begin emailing monthly newsletters to highlight different points of interest involving the settlement. These newsletters will be emailed to those of you who originally signed up in the case. If you do not have an email address, the newsletters will be sent by regular mail.
Federal Judge In Concussion Settlement Finds Probable Fraud
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody yesterday denied, for now, a League request to appoint a special investigator to identify those who were making false claims in the historic concussion settlement case in Philadelphia.
However, Judge Brody did write in a two-page decision that she found “sufficient evidence of probable fraud” among players seeking payments “to warrant serious concern.”
Chris Seeger, co-lead counsel for the class of eligible retired players, praised Judge Brody’s decision. “The claims process has continued to accelerate,” Seeger said. “We will not allow a small number of potentially fraudulent claims to be used as an excuse by the NFL to deny payment to legitimately injured players.”
(Click this linkfor further background on Judge Brody’s order.)
We at NFL Alumni continue to hope that those alumni and their families who really are suffering receive financial assistance as quickly as possible.
UPDATE – April 21, 2018
Major Decision Regarding Fraud Expected Soon in Concussion Settlement
U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody is expected to rule soon on an NFL request to have her appoint a Special Investigator to assist the Claims Administrator and the Court in investigating fraudulent claims that have been made in the NFL Concussion Settlement Program.
Using blunt language such as “…pervasive fraud by doctors, lawyers and certain players…”, lawyers for the NFL cited specific examples (without names) of fraud in their 20-page brief that was submitted to Judge Brody on April 13.
The NFL lawyers stated that the League so far has funded more than $225 million in finalized claims. However, independent Claims Administrator BrownGreer PLC has placed into audit approximately 45% of total claims submitted because of red flags or other signs of fraud.
The NFL legal papers filed with the court stated that “…the Claims Administrator has already recommended that more than 400 claims be denied, including all claims submitted by a certain law firm and that 13 neurologists or neuropsychologists and one retired player be permanently disqualified from the Program, due to the misstatement, omission or concealment of material facts.”
Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger, who represents NFL Alumni members and other retired players, agrees that having a Special Investigator is appropriate at this time. However, Seeger says “…the league cannot escape its responsibility…we will make sure that former NFL players and their families receive every benefit they are entitled to under this agreement.”
We at NFL Alumni want to make certain that deserving impaired players have their paperwork processed promptly so they receive payment as quickly as possible. The fraudulent claims that the independent Claims Administrator and his office have had to handle has slowed the process.
We hope Judge Brody and the Court will do everything in its power to see that the program runs more efficiently and that deserving alumni get paid in a timely manner going forward.
UPDATE – April 5, 2018
A law firm representing several hundred players in the NFL Concussion Settlement case in Philadelphia has been in the media in recent days stating that the payments to alumni are too few and are being made too slowly. A formal motion with U. S. Federal District Court Judge Anita Brody was filed late last month requesting that the Court appoint that same East Coast law firm as Administrative Class Counsel for the payments going forward.
The current Co-Lead Class Counsel and the League have until April 13 to file any responses to that motion so that the Court can get a full picture of the status of the Settlement Program.
More than 230 claims totaling over $225 million already have been paid or are scheduled to be paid shortly to alumni and/or their families in the case. However, some lawyers for retired players claim that the number is too low and that the League is stalling the process through unnecessary appeals. League lawyers counter by stating that less than 15% of claim determinations have been appealed. An NFL spokesman recently added that no legitimate claim for funds has been rejected and that legitimate claims are being processed and paid in a timely fashion to those families who deserve the benefits.
As a reminder, the Settlement itself is operated by a well-known, Court-appointed Claims Administrator– BrownGreer PLC– which is independent of the League, the Settlement Class, AND their attorneys. BrownGreer’s role, in part, is to filter out fraudulent claims. This also has caused delays.
Confusing? Yes, but in large class action settlement cases such as this one, it is not uncommon for the legal process to move slowly–especially in the early stages– in order to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent claims for money.
If you have any questions, we at NFL Alumni encourage you to contact the BrownGreer firm at 1-855-887-3485or Co-Lead Class Counsel Chris Seeger at 212-584-0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org