January 15, 2014 in Sports

NFL notebook: Judge rejects concussion deal

Associated Press
 

A federal judge denied preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims, fearing it may not be enough to cover 20,000 retired players.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody asked for more financial analysis from the parties, a week after players’ lawyers filed a detailed payout plan.

“I am primarily concerned that not all retired NFL football players who ultimately receive a qualifying diagnosis or their (families) … will be paid,” Brody wrote in a 12-page opinion issued Tuesday.

The proposed settlement, negotiated over several months, is designed to last at least 65 years.

The awards would vary based on an ex-player’s age and diagnosis. A younger retiree with Lou Gehrig’s disease would get $5 million, those with serious dementia cases would get $3 million and an 80-year-old with early dementia would get $25,000. Retirees without symptoms would get baseline screening, and follow-up care if needed.

Some critics have argued that the NFL, with more than $9 billion in annual revenues, was getting away lightly. But the players’ lawyers said they will face huge challenges just to get the case to trial. They would have to prove the injuries were linked to the players’ NFL service and should not be handled through league arbitration.

Sol Weiss, a lead lawyer for the ex-players, remained confident the class-action settlement will ultimately be approved.

Quick kicks

Packers quarterback coach Ben McAdoo has been hired as the New York Giants offensive coordinator. … The Chargers have promoted quarterbacks coach Frank Reich to offensive coordinator. He replaces Ken Whisenhunt, who was hired Monday as coach of the Tennessee Titans.

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