Liens - Information for Lienholders

265. How does a lienholder notify the Settlement Program of a Medical Lien?


To provide notice of a valid Medical Lien, a lienholder must notify the Claims Administrator or the Lien Resolution Administrator by:


(a) Email to ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com, using a secure and encrypted method, and include “ATTN: NFL Liens” in the subject line;

(b) Mail to NFL Concussion Settlement, Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 25369, Richmond, VA  23260, ATTN: NFL Liens;

(c) Delivery by overnight carrier to NFL Concussion Settlement, c/o BrownGreer PLC, 250 Rocketts Way, Richmond, VA  23231, ATTN: NFL Liens; or

(d) Fax to (804) 521-7299, ATTN: NFL Liens.


266. How does a lienholder notify the Settlement Program of an Attorney's Lien or an Other Lien?


To provide notice of a valid Attorney's Lien, Child Support Lien, Tax Lien, or Judgment Lien, a lienholder must notify the Claims Administrator by:


(a) Email to ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com, using a secure and encrypted method, and include “ATTN: NFL Liens” in the subject line;

(b) Mail to NFL Concussion Settlement, Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 25369, Richmond, VA  23260, ATTN: NFL Liens;

(c) Delivery by overnight carrier to NFL Concussion Settlement, c/o BrownGreer PLC, 250 Rocketts Way, Richmond, VA  23231, ATTN: NFL Liens; or

(d) Fax to (804) 521-7299, ATTN: NFL Liens.

A lawyer also can provide notice by filing a Notice of Attorney’s Lien with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No.: 2:12-md-02323-AB. Attorneys’ Liens filed with any other court or served by any other method are not binding on the Claims Administrator.

Child support agencies can provide a mass Income Withholding Order to the Claims Administrator, accompanied by a data file with the name and tax identification number of the persons who owe child support debts in the respective state to provide notice of Child Support Liens.

If you are the Settlement Class Member’s current lawyer and believe that Lien payments may interfere with recovery of your attorney’s fees and costs, you must assert a Lien for attorney’s fees and costs before the Claims Administrator begins the process to pay the affected Settlement Class Member.


267. What information must a government health insurer provide to assert a Medical Lien?


The Lien Resolution Administrator sends information about Settlement Class Members to governmental health insurers to identify governmental Medical Liens as required by the Settlement Agreement. If you are a governmental health insurer and have questions about this process, please contact the Lien Resolution Administrator by calling 1-855-887-3485 or emailing NFLLiens@garretsongroup.com.


268. What information is required from a private healthcare insurer to assert an alleged Lien?


A private healthcare insurer must submit the following information to the Claims Administrator or Lien Resolution Administrator:

(a) Information to identify the Retired NFL Football Player or Derivative Claimant who is alleged to owe the Lien (such as Settlement Class Member’s full name, Social Security Number, or Settlement Program ID);

(b) Health plan name;

(c) Health plan type; and

(d) Complete list of claims and payments comprising the alleged Lien.

The next step in the process will depend on the nature of the repayment obligation, if any, under the plan documents.


269. What information is required to assert an Attorney’s Lien?


A lienholder must submit the following information to the Claims Administrator:

(a) Information to identify the Retired NFL Football Player or Derivative Claimant who is alleged to owe the debt (such as the Settlement Class Member’s full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Foreign Identification Number, or Settlement Program ID);

(b) The amount of the debt;

(c) A Notice of Attorney’s Lien filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, MDL 2323. Personal information such as Social Security Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, or Foreign Identification Number MUST NOT be included in the Notice of Attorney's Lien filed with the Court, pursuant to the Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Rule 5.1.3;

(d) A copy of the lawyer’s retainer agreement signed by the Settlement Class Member; and

(e) The dollar amount of the lawyer’s costs if the lawyer is seeking reimbursement of costs in addition to fees.

The Claims Administrator will review the information and send the lienholder an email or a letter to acknowledge receipt of the assertion, confirm the lienholder’s contact information and inform the lienholder if it needs further information or documentation about the Lien.

To honor the Lien, the Claims Administrator must receive complete claimant-identifying information and documentary proof before it begins the process to pay the affected Settlement Class Member.


270. What information is required to assert an Other Lien?


A lienholder must submit the following information to the Claims Administrator:

(a) Information to identify the Retired NFL Football Player or Derivative Claimant who is alleged to owe the debt (such as the Settlement Class Member’s full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Foreign Identification Number, or Settlement Program ID);

(b) The amount of the debt; and

(c) Documents establishing that there is a legal obligation to withhold payment of all or part of a Monetary Award, Supplemental Monetary Award, or Derivative Claimant Award to a Settlement Class Member under applicable federal or state law. The required documents vary depending on the type of Lien:

(1) Child Support Liens: An individual Income Withholding Order, a Notice of Income Assignment, or a substantially similar document from the appropriate federal or state child support agency or court establishing the current child support debt.

(2) Tax Liens: A Notice of Levy, a Notice of Freeze, or a substantially similar document from the federal, state, or local tax agency establishing the current amount of the tax debt.

(3) Judgment Liens: A copy of a file-stamped final judgment establishing the debt under applicable federal or state law.

The Claims Administrator will review the information and send the lienholder an email or a letter to acknowledge receipt of the assertion, confirm the lienholder’s contact information and inform the lienholder if it needs further information or documentation about the Lien.

To honor the Lien, the Claims Administrator must receive complete claimant-identifying information and documentary proof before it begins the process to pay the affected Settlement Class Member.


271. What happens after I submit the required information and documents for a valid Lien?


The Claims Administrator will place a hold on an appropriate portion of any payment(s) that may be made to the affected Settlement Class Member.


272. What happens if a Settlement Class Member disputes a Medical Lien?


Depending on the Lien type, the Settlement Class Member (or, if represented, his or her lawyer) may have the option to challenge the proposed Medical Lien amount and seek to reduce it. If the Settlement Class Member disputes a Medical Lien, the Lien Resolution Administrator will attempt to resolve the Lien with the lienholder.

In addition, the Lien Resolution Administrator will instruct the Claims Administrator to withhold an amount sufficient to satisfy the Medical Lien, to the extent funds are available, until the Claims Administrator receives either (1) confirmation of Lien resolution from the Lien Resolution Administrator or (2) similar documentation from the lienholder.

If the Lien Resolution Administrator is not able to resolve the dispute with the lienholder, it may seek additional assistance from the Court.


273. What happens if a Settlement Class Member disputes an Attorney’s Lien?


If the Settlement Class Member disputes or fails to consent to an Attorney’s Lien, the Claims Administrator refers the dispute to the Magistrate Judge for resolution pursuant to a dispute resolution process approved by the Court on March 6, 2018, and amended on October 3, 2018. Click here for more information about the dispute resolution process.

The Claims Administrator withholds an amount sufficient to satisfy the Attorney’s Lien, to the extent funds are available, until receiving either: (1) Court approval of Withdrawal of Attorney's Lien Dispute forms signed by both the Settlement Class Member and the Attorney Lienholder specifying the distribution of the withheld funds; or (2) a copy of a final decision from the Court determining the amount, if any, to be paid to the Attorney Lienholder. The amount the Claims Administrator has to deduct from an Award to pay your Lien is based on your contingency fee contract with the Settlement Class Member and any orders of the Court that affect attorneys’ fees and costs in this Settlement Program.


274. What happens if a Settlement Class Member disputes an Other Lien?


If the Settlement Class Member disputes or fails to consent to a Child Support Lien, Tax Lien, or Judgment Lien, the Claims Administrator withholds an amount sufficient to satisfy the Other Lien, to the extent funds are available, until receiving either: (1) notice of satisfaction and discharge of the Lien from the lienholder; (2) a written agreement signed by both parties specifying the distribution of the withheld funds; or (3) a copy of a final decision from the applicable federal or state agency or court determining the amount, if any, to be paid to the lienholder.


275. What is a Dispute over an Attorney’s Lien?


A Dispute over an Attorney’s Lien is any disagreement between the current attorney on behalf of the represented Settlement Class Member or an unrepresented Settlement Class Member on his or her own behalf, and any attorney lienholder(s) over the reasonableness and amount of the fees and/or costs sought by the attorney lienholder(s). The resolution of the Dispute will also take into account any other matter relating to attorney’s fees and costs the Court determines are necessary to ensure that the Settlement Class Member’s and the attorney lienholder’s rights are protected, including the extent of any other attorney’s fees and costs to be paid out of the Award.

276. Where can I get a copy of the Rules that apply to the Attorneys’ Liens dispute resolution process?


The Court entered an October 3, 2018 Order adopting the Amended Rules Governing Attorneys’ Liens (as originally adopted on march 6, 2018), which you can find on the official website at www.NFLConcussionSettlement.com under the Documents menu option, Governing Rules. Click here to view the Rules Governing Attorneys’ Liens.

277. How does a Dispute over an Attorney’s Lien get into the Attorneys’ Liens dispute resolution process?


If a Settlement Class Member disputes or fails to consent to an Attorney’s Lien, the Claims Administrator refers the Dispute to the Honorable David Strawbridge, U.S.M.J., or another United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, pursuant to the Court’s April 4, 2017 Order.

278. Who are the Parties in an Attorney’s Lien Dispute?


The Parties to an Attorney's Lien Dispute are the current attorney on behalf of the represented Settlement Class Member or an unrepresented Settlement Class Member on his or her own behalf, and any attorney lienholder(s). The Claims Administrator is not a Party to the Dispute.

279. Who resolves an Attorney’s Lien Dispute?


The Parties may consent to have the Magistrate Judge enter a final decision as to the resolution of the Dispute pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). If consent is not given by both Parties, the Magistrate Judge will prepare a Report and Recommendation based on the information in the Dispute Record and any testimony and documents properly presented at a hearing, if one is granted. The District Judge will enter a final decision based on the Report and Recommendation from the Magistrate Judge and any objections from the Parties. If both Parties consent, the Magistrate Judge’s decision will be the final decision of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The Claims Administrator will disburse the withheld funds in accordance with the final decision, the provisions of the Settlement Agreement and any Court orders regarding settlement implementation.


280. Do I have to try to reach an agreement with the Settlement Class Member over the disputed Lien?


Yes. The Parties must make reasonable efforts to resolve the Dispute by agreement before and during the dispute resolution process. The Parties also must provide a summary of the attempts to reach an agreement with the opposing Party in the dispute submissions.

281. How do I serve document submissions in the Attorneys’ Liens dispute resolution process?


All dispute resolution documents must be served on the Claims Administrator by one of the following methods:

(a) Email to ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com, by a secured and encrypted method and include “ATTN: NFL Liens” in the subject line;

(b) Facsimile to (804) 521-7299, ATTN: NFL Liens;

(c) Mail to NFL Concussion Settlement, Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 25369, Richmond, VA  23260, ATTN: NFL Liens; or

(d) Delivery by overnight carrier to NFL Concussion Settlement, c/o BrownGreer PLC, 250 Rocketts Way, Richmond, VA  23231, ATTN: NFL Liens.


282. What do I need to submit in the Attorneys’ Liens dispute resolution process?


You will need to submit a Statement of Dispute and a Response Memorandum as discussed below. The Claims Administrator will send you a Schedule of Document Submissions setting deadlines for the submissions.   

283. What is a Statement of Dispute and when is it due?


A Statement of Dispute is the written information about the Dispute submitted by each Party. Each Party must submit a Statement of Dispute within 30 days after the date of the Schedule of Document Submissions. The Claims Administrator will serve each Party’s Statement of Dispute on the opposing Party.

284. What information must be included in my Statement of Dispute?


As an attorney lienholder, your Statement of Dispute must include:

(a) A statement of all issues in dispute;

(b) A chronology of the tasks performed by the attorney, the date each task was performed and the time spent on each task;

(c) A list of costs with a brief explanation of the purpose of incurring these costs and the date the costs were incurred;

(d) The relief sought;

(e) A summary of the attempts to reach an agreement with the opposing Party;

(f) Any exhibits; and

(g)  A statement signed by the submitting Party declaring under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746 that the information submitted in the Statement of Dispute is true and accurate to the best of that Party’s knowledge and that the submitting Party understands that false statements made in connection with this process may result in fines, sanctions, and/or any other remedy available by law.


285. What is a Response Memorandum and when is it due?


A Response Memorandum is each Party’s written submission responding to the opposing Party’s Statement of Dispute. Each Party may submit a Response Memorandum within 15 days after the date the Claims Administrator serves the Statements of Dispute on the Parties. The Claims Administrator will serve each Party’s Response Memorandum on the opposing Party.

Each Response Memorandum must contain a statement signed by the submitting Party declaring under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746 that the information submitted in the Response Memorandum is true and accurate to the best of that Party’s knowledge and that the submitting Party understands that false statements made in connection with this process may result in fines, sanctions, and/or any other remedy available by law.

If the opposing Party fails to submit a Statement of Dispute, you may not file a Response Memorandum unless the Magistrate Judge requests it.


286. What if I miss the deadline to submit my Statement of Dispute or Response Memorandum?


Extensions of deadlines are discouraged. If you believe an extension is necessary, you must submit a written request to the Claims Administrator showing good cause for the extension. The request should not be filed on the Court's docket. The Magistrate Judge may exercise discretion to extend or modify any submission deadline. Before you submit a request for an extension, you must confer with the Settlement Class Member’s current attorney or the unrepresented Settlement Class Member and disclose whether the Settlement Class Member opposes your request. The Magistrate Judge will issue a notice of any extension or modification of a submission deadline, and the Claims Administrator will serve the notice on the Parties.

287. What information will the Magistrate Judge consider in making the Report and Recommendation or the final decision?


The Magistrate Judge bases the Report and Recommendation or the final decision (if the Parties consent to jurisdiction) on the Dispute Record provided by the Claims Administrator which consists of:

(a) A copy of the Settlement Class Member’s Notice of Monetary Award Claim Determination or Notice of Derivative Claimant Award Determination;

(b) The Notice of Lien with the documentary proof you submitted;

(c) The Settlement Class Member’s response, if any, to the Notice of Lien that he or she disputes the Lien;

(d) The Statements of Dispute from you and the Settlement Class Member;

(e) The Response Memoranda from you and the Settlement Class Member; and

(f) Any additional evidence produced by either Party or the Claims Administrator in response to a request of the Magistrate Judge.

If a hearing is granted, the Magistrate Judge also will consider testimony and any additional documentation properly presented during the hearing.


288. Can I request a hearing on the Attorney's Lien Dispute?


Yes. If you want a hearing, you must request one in your Response Memorandum. The Magistrate Judge may order a hearing if he determines that such proceeding would help him resolve the Dispute. If the opposing Party does not submit a Statement of Dispute, you may serve a written request for a hearing within 15 days from the date the Claims Administrator serves the opposing Party with your Statement of Dispute. The Magistrate Judge will determine if the hearing will be in-person, by video conference, or by telephone conference. The Court's staff will make the necessary arrangements for video or telephone conference access if the Magistrate Judge orders such a hearing.

289. How will I find out if the Magistrate Judge grants a hearing on the Attorney's Lien Dispute and when will the hearing be scheduled?


If the Magistrate Judge determines a hearing is necessary, the Claims Administrator will serve you and the Settlement Class Member’s current attorney or the unrepresented Settlement Class Member with a Hearing Schedule. The hearing will be scheduled promptly, but no sooner than 20 days after the date of the Hearing Schedule.

290. What happens at a hearing on an Attorney's Lien Dispute?


If the Magistrate Judge grants a hearing, the following procedure will apply.

(a) Evidence: The evidence that the Magistrate Judge may consider is limited to the Dispute Record and any testimony and documents properly presented during the hearing.

(b) Testimony Under Oath or Affirmation: Hearing testimony must be submitted under oath or affirmation administered by the Magistrate Judge or by any duly qualified person. If you want to present live testimony of anyone other than the Settlement Class Member, you must submit a written request to the Claims Administrator no later than three days before the hearing that includes (1) the individual's name and relationship to you; (2) the nature and scope of the testimony to be provided; (3) the length of time the testimony will take; and (4) whether the essence of the testimony could be presented in any other manner.

(c) Audio Recording of Hearing: The hearing proceedings will be audio-recorded. The recording will be made available to the Parties to listen to or to transcribe at their own expense.


291. Do I have to participate in the hearing on an Attorney's Lien Dispute?


All Parties and their lawyers, if any, must participate in the hearing. If you do not participate in the hearing without prior approval from the Magistrate Judge, he will issue a Report and Recommendation or a final decision (if the Parties consent to jurisdiction) based on the Dispute Record at the time of the hearing, together with any testimony and documents properly presented at the hearing.

292. Can I withdraw a Dispute from the Attorneys' Liens dispute resolution process?


Yes. If you reach an agreement with the Settlement Class Member’s current attorney or the unrepresented Settlement Class Member at any time before the Report and Recommendation or the Magistrate Judge’s final decision (if the Parties consent to jurisdiction) is issued and the Court approves the agreement, you may withdraw the Dispute from this process.

293. How do I withdraw a Dispute from the Attorneys' Liens dispute resolution process?


Each Party must serve a signed Withdrawal of Attorney's Lien Dispute (“Withdrawal”) with the required terms of the agreement on the Claims Administrator, and the dispute process will be stayed. The Court must approve the Withdrawal.

294. What information will the Magistrate Judge consider in making the Report and Recommendation or the final decision on the Withdrawals?


The Magistrate Judge bases the Report and Recommendation or the final decision (if the Parties consent to jurisdiction) on the Withdrawal Record provided by the Claims Administrator which consists of: 


(a) A copy of the Notice of Monetary Award Claim Determination or Notice of Derivative Claimant Award Determination; 

(b) The Notice of Lien to the Settlement Class Member with the attachments (a copy of the Attorney Lienholder's retainer agreement signed by the Settlement Class Member, a copy of the notice of Attorney's Lien filed in the Court, and the amount of any costs provided by the Attorney Lienholder);

(c) The Settlement Class Member's response, if any, to the Notice of Lien that he or she disputes the Lien; 

(d) If the Settlement Class Member is represented, a copy of the current attorney's retainer agreement signed by the Settlement Class Member and a signed copy of the Statement of Fees and Costs as provided in Rule 17(b); and 

(e) The signed Withdrawals of Attorney's Lien Dispute.

If the Court approves the Withdrawal, the Claims Administrator will pay the withheld portion of the Award to you or your lawyer, and any attorney lienholder(s) as agreed to and stated in the Withdrawal.

295. When will the Magistrate Judge issue a Report and Recommendation or a final decision?


The Magistrate Judge will issue a Report and Recommendation or a final decision (if the Parties consent to jurisdiction) after consideration of the Dispute or Withdrawal Record and any evidence properly submitted during a hearing, if one is granted. The Claims Administrator will provide you with a copy of the Report and Recommendation or the final decision.

296. Can I object to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation?


Yes. In accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2), the Parties have 14 days from the date the Claims Administrator serves the Report and Recommendation to file specific written objections with the District Judge. The Parties will have 14 days from the date the Claims Administrator serves any objections to file a written response to the opposing Party’s objections. The Claims Administrator will serve copies of the objections and any responses to the objections on the Parties.

297. Who makes the final decision resolving the Attorney's Lien Dispute?


If both Parties consent pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the Magistrate Judge will enter a final decision resolving the Dispute. If the Parties do not consent, the District Judge will enter a final decision after consideration of the Report and Recommendation and any objections from the Parties, in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). The Claims Administrator will provide you with a copy of the final decision.

298. Can the District Judge or the Magistrate Judge change the final decision on an Attorney's Lien Dispute?


Yes, the District Judge or the Magistrate Judge can change the final decision, but only within seven days after the date of the final decision and only to modify or correct any mathematical error or an obvious material mistake in computing the amount to be paid to you, your attorney, and/or the attorney lienholder.

299. Can I appeal the final decision on an Attorney's Lien Dispute?


Yes. Any Party may appeal the final decision.

300. How will the withheld funds be paid after the final decision on an Attorney's Lien Dispute?


After any timely appeals are resolved, the Claims Administrator will disburse the withheld funds in accordance with the final decision and the provisions of the Settlement Agreement and Court orders regarding settlement implementation.

301. Whom do I contact with questions about Liens?



 

Kind of Lien

Whom do I contact?

1.

Medical Liens

Contact the Lien Resolution Administrator by calling 1-855-887-3485 or emailing NFLLiens@garretsongroup.com.

2.

Attorneys’ Liens and Other Liens

Contact the Claims Administrator by calling 1-855-887-3485 or emailing ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com.