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NCAA, concussion plaintiffs plan more mediation

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Last month’s mediation session between the NCAA and plaintiffs’ lawyers in a long-running concussion lawsuit was “productive” and another session is on the way, according to court documents reviewed by The Washington Times.

The sparse details of the confidential process were included in a memorandum filed by the NCAA on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The 16 pages oppose a motion by two ex-NCAA football players to intervene in the lawsuit filed in 2011 by former Eastern Illinois football player Adrian Arrington and four other NCAA athletes. They accuse the NCAA of not doing enough to protect athletes against concussions.

The two sides met on Nov. 1 in New York with Judge Layn Phillips, who negotiated the proposed $765 million settlement to the NFL concussion litigation announced in August.

The parties plan to scheduled another mediation session later this month and, in the meantime, are preparing “additional materials,” the documents said.

The filing also detailed the eight class-action concussion lawsuits filed against the NCAA since September. The latest lawsuit, by ex-Missouri football players Sharron Washington and Anthony VanZant, was filed Tuesday in federal court.

The NCAA faces at least two other concussion-related cases in state court by the family of deceased Frostburg State football player Derek Sheely in Maryland and Samford soccer player Mary Shelton Wells in Alabama. 

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