Judge denies settlement motion in NFL concussion lawsuit

FILE - In this April 9, 2013, file photo, former NFL player Dorsey Levens, right, extends a hand as Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former NFL player Ray Easterling, reacts as former NFL player Kevin Turner, left, looks on during a news conference in Philadelphia, after a hearing to determine whether the NFL faces years of litigation over concussion-related brain injuries. Judge Anita Brody has announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, that the NFL and more than 4,500 former players want to settle concussion-related lawsuits for $765 million. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)FILE - In this April 9, 2013, file photo, former NFL player Dorsey Levens, right, extends a hand as Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former NFL player Ray Easterling, reacts as former NFL player Kevin Turner, left, looks on during a news conference in Philadelphia, after a hearing to determine whether the NFL faces years of litigation over concussion-related brain injuries. Judge Anita Brody has announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, that the NFL and more than 4,500 former players want to settle concussion-related lawsuits for $765 million. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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Judge Brody’s issues, though, didn’t end there.

She questioned the financial viability of the baseline assessment program, funded with up to $75 million. That’s supposed to include neuropsychological and neurological testing, plus follow-up testing and treatment if eligible retired players are diagnosed with moderate neurological impairment.

The judge also expressed concern over a little-noticed caveat buried in the agreement that bars retired players who receive monetary awards from suing the NCAA or any amateur football organizations over issues arising from cognitive impairment. The NCAA, while the target of several concussion-related lawsuits, isn’t party to the NFL litigation.

As a “first step” toward preliminary approval, Judge Brody asked for documentation explaining the compensation fund. That’s one step in a process that’s not ending any time soon.

 

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