I’ve heard from several lawyers on this article. This is a tough one, because it criticizes lawyers. Maybe rightfully so.
I’ve also heard from several families that are involved and are disgusted with what they have found in the judicial system.
The following is part of the story that a very well respected attorney pointed out to me.
The way the NFL concussion litigation settled and the terms of the settlement were weird and unusual. In many ways–not just that it left open the specter of the attorney’s fees feeding frenzy. If players’ families are unhappy now, wait until the NFL denies their claim for benefits under the agreement.
The presiding judge loved the settlement. She would not hear any criticisms of it. A motion was filed right after they announced the settlement basically saying that the attorney’s fees issue needed to be more clearly defined. No one responded to the motion and the judge never ruled on it. By that point, it was clear that approval of the settlement would be steamrolled.
The settlement was great for the NFL and the cadre of plaintiff lawyers who negotiated it. As the ESPN article alluded to, those plaintiff lawyers did not originate the litigation. They were just in the aristocracy of ‘big-time’ plaintiff lawyers and were hand-picked by the judge to broker a deal. Those guys say it’s great for the players. But I predict that within 6-12 months, all hell is going to break lose because the NFL disputes many claims for monetary payments. The agreement leaves a huge amount of room to fight over who qualifies. And the hoops they have to jump through to make a claim are very complex. I thought settlements were supposed to end litigation—this one isn’t going to be like that.