In re National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation

Case # 12-md-02323
Case Name In re National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation
Jurisdiction US District Court for E.D. PA
Summary

Lawsuit stems from concerns over head injuries suffered by players in the National Football League and the potential of those injuries to lead to long term harm for the affected players. Plaintiffs allege that the NFL and its member teams conspired to marginalize concerns over head injuries, to the detriment of the health of their players. Concussions were allegedly routinely ignored by team officials and players were expected to play through the injury. Players were also given incorrect or incomplete information about the dangers of head injury and their resulting diagnoses. The lawsuit seeks compensation for players who suffered concussion-related injuries as a result of their time playing in the NFL, as well as injunctive relief against the NFL and medical testing for former, current, and future players.

Final Approval Date 05/08/2015
Result
  1. Final Approval granted.
  2. All objections overruled. Most objections are related to the way the settlement compensates individuals who have been or may be diagnosed in the future with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
  3. Four sets of serially objecting attorneys appealed the Final Approval (Pentz/E. Cochran, G. Cochran, Bandas, Palmer).
  4. Appeal arguments were heard of 11/19/2015.  Only the Bandas clients appeared at argument, represented by Howard J. Bashman.
Dismissal of Last Appeal ongoing
Attachments Docket Report.pdf
Amended Master Administrative Long-Form Complaint.pdf
Preliminary Approval Order.pdf
Long Form Notice.pdf
Short Form Notice.pdf
Settlement Agreement.pdf
Chart of Objections.pdf
Order Regarding Objector Appearances at Fairness Hearing.pdf
Memorandum and Opinion.pdf
Amended Final Order.pdf
Transcript of Appeal Arguments.pdf
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Objection of Curtis L. Anderson

Objectors Curtis L. Anderson
Signers George W. Cochran
Attorneys George W. Cochran
Summary
  1. Objection procedures are burdensome.
  2. Class membership definitions are overly restrictive.
  3. Class members who develop CTE in the future are not adequately represented.
  4. Class member injuries are too diverse to support class certification.
  5. Age bracket breakdowns create an intra-class conflict.
  6. Class representatives are not adequate.
  7. Other diseases are not included in the settlement.
  8. Notice is ambiguous regarding future deaths caused by CTE.
  9. Release is overbroad.
  10. No discovery was performed.
  11. Settlement is insignificant versus what the NFL could withstand.
  12. Unnecessary barriers to recovery will prevent class members from receiving their full relief.
  13. Attorneys' fee request shows signs of self-dealing and collusion.
  14. Cy pres awards are improper.
  15. Medicare Secondary Payer Act may block payments to class members.

NOTE: This objection was filed late and seems to largely parrot other objections. This late objection was stricken by the District Court but Objector Anderson (through Counsel) still appealed the Final Approval.

Attachments Objection of Curtis L. Anderson.pdf
Cochran Appearance for Objector Anderson.pdf
Motion to Strike Late Objection of Anderson.pdf
Response to Motion to Strike Late Objection of Anderson.pdf
Cochran Intent to Appear.pdf
Order Granting Motion to Strike Anderson's Late Objection.pdf
Appeal of Objector Anderson.pdf
Anderson Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Craig Heimburger, Dawn Heimburger

Objectors Craig Heimburger
Dawn Heimburger
Signers Glenn A. Manochi
Attorneys Glenn A. Manochi
Gary P. Lightman
Christopher A. Bandas
Howard J. Bashman
Summary
  1. Settlement does not adequately compensate class members for their complete NFL service time.
  2. Class is rife with intra-class conflict.
  3. Settlement unfairly seeks to throttle recovery by class members.
  4. Class counsel has a conflict of interest with the class, owing to their up front fee award.
  5. Class representative is inadequate, since he was selected with knowledge of his support for the agreement.
  6. Cy pres provisions are improper.
  7. Class counsel is allowed to "double dip" for their fees.

On appeal, the Heimburger objection has largely focused on the settlement's failure to satisfy the requirements of Rule 23 in forming a class.

NOTE: Christopher Bandas filed his appearance on the appeal.

Attachments Objection of Craig Heimburger.pdf
Short Form Complaint of Objector Heimburger.pdf
Lightman Appearance for Objector Heimburger.pdf
Manochi Appearance for Objector Heimburger.pdf
Lightman-Manochi Intent to Appear.pdf
Re-Urging of Heimburger Objections.pdf
Appeal of Objector Heimburger.pdf
Bandas Appearance for Objector-Appellant Heimburger.pdf
Bandas Request for Extension.pdf
Heimburger Appellant Brief.pdf
Bashman Appearance for Objector-Appellant Heimburger.pdf
Heimburger Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Cleo Miller, Judson Flint, Elmer Underwood, Vincent Clark, Sr, Fred Smerlas, Ken Jones, Jim Rourke, Lou Piccone, James David Wilkins II, Robert Jackson

Objectors Cleo Miller
Judson Flint
Elmer Underwood
Vincent Clark, Sr
Fred Smerlas
Ken Jones
Jim Rourke
Lou Piccone
James David Wilkins II
Robert Jackson
Signers John J. Pentz
Attorneys John J. Pentz
Edward W. Cochran
Summary
  1. Settlement does not adequately compensate class members who may be diagnosed with CTE in the future.
  2. Conflict of interest exists between class members who have already been diagnosed and those who may be diagnosed in the future.
  3. Class representative does not adequately represent all class members.
  4. Attorneys' fees are excessive, improperly negotiated, and show signs of self-dealing and collusion.
  5. Use of a separate fund is improper.
  6. Notice is overly ambiguous on the issue of future diagnoses of CTE.
  7. Release is overbroad.

NOTE:  Robert Jackson voluntarily withdrew on 10/09/2015.

Attachments Objection of Cleo Miller et al.pdf
Pentz Appearance for Miller et al Objectors.pdf
Pentz Intent to Appear.pdf
Supplemental Objections of Miller et al.pdf
Second Supplemental Objections of Miller et al.pdf
Appeal of Miller et al Objectors.pdf
Dismissal of Jackson Appeal.pdf
Miller et al Appeal Docket.pdf
http://www.law360.com/articles/691916/more-ex-nfl-players-oppose-head-trauma-settlement
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Objection of Darren Russell Carrington

Objectors Darren Russell Carrington
Signers Darren Russell Carrington
Attorneys Joseph Darrell Palmer
Summary
  1. Settlement does not compensate former players currently suffering from CTE or who will be diagnosed with CTE in the future.
  2. Reduction of award based on age at diagnosis is unfair.
  3. Reduction for other brain trauma outside the NFL is unfair.
  4. Government liens may strip many individuals' monetary compensation.
  5. Registration procedures may exclude former players whose diminished condition makes it difficult for them to participate in the settlement.
  6. Class representative does not represent the harm suffered by the class.
  7. Attorneys' fees are excessive and the fee request has not been made available for review by class members.

NOTE:  Joseph Darrell Palmer filed his appearance on the appeal.

Attachments Objection of Darren Russell Carrington.pdf
Appeal of Objector Carrington.pdf
Palmer Appearance for Objector-Appellant Carrington.pdf
Carrington Appeal Brief.pdf
Carrington Appellate Reply Brief.pdf
Carrington Appeal Docket.pdf
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