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BASIC INFORMATION FAQs
1.01. What is the Settlement about?
This settlement resolves claims made in the case known as In re: National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, No. 2:12-md-02323, overseen by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (“the Court”). The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” The National Football League and NFL Properties LLC are called the “NFL Parties.”
Plaintiffs claimed Retired NFL Football Players experienced head trauma during their NFL Football careers resulting in brain injuries, which caused or may cause them long-term neurological problems. Plaintiffs accused the NFL Parties of being aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries, but failing to warn and protect players against the long-term risks, and ignoring and concealing this information from players. The NFL Parties denied the claims in the litigation. After extensive settlement negotiations, Plaintiffs and the NFL Parties agreed to the settlement (the “Settlement”).
The Court entered a Final Order and Judgment approving the Settlement on April 22, 2015, subject to subsequent amendments and clarifications on May 8, 2015, and May 11, 2015. Certain Settlement Class Members appealed that Order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. On April 18, 2016, that Court affirmed the Final Order and Judgment approving the Settlement. On April 28, 2016, some objecting Settlement Class Members filed petitions for rehearing en banc asking the Third Circuit to reconsider the appeal. On June 1, 2016, the Third Circuit denied the petitions for rehearing en banc. On August 30, 2016, objectors filed two petitions for writ of certiorari (a request that an appeal be allowed) to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied the petitions for writ of certiorari on December 12, 2016. As no requests for reconsideration were filed, the Settlement became Effective on January 7, 2017.
The litigation between the Settlement Class Members who did not opt out from the Settlement and the NFL Parties is over. Only Settlement Class Members are eligible for the benefits summarized on this website. The NFL Parties are not legally responsible to defend against the claims by Settlement Class Members made in this litigation.
The Amended Settlement Agreement is available here. You can get more information from the Claims Administrator by calling 1-855-887-3485 or emailing ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com.
1.02. What are the benefits of the Settlement?
Benefits under the Settlement include:
- The Baseline Assessment Program, which provides baseline neuropsychological and neurological examinations for eligible Retired NFL Football Players and additional medical testing, counseling and/or treatment if they are diagnosed with moderate cognitive impairment during their baseline examinations (every qualified Retired NFL Football Player will be eligible to receive one BAP baseline assessment examination during the term of the program);
- Monetary Awards for diagnoses of Death with CTE before April 22, 2015 (the Final Approval Date), ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia) and Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) (see Injury Definitions). All valid claims under the Settlement, without limitation, will be paid in full throughout the 65-year life of the Settlement; and
- Education programs promoting safety and injury prevention with respect to football players, including safety-related initiatives in youth football, the education of Retired NFL Football Players regarding the NFL’s medical and disability programs and other educational programs and initiatives.
The Baseline Assessment Program and claims process for Monetary Awards are administered independently of the NFL Parties and any benefit programs that have been created between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The NFL Parties are not involved in determining the validity of claims under the Settlement.
1.03. Who is included in the Settlement Class?
The Settlement Class includes three groups:
Retired NFL Football Players
: All living NFL Football players who, prior to July 7, 2014, (1) retired, formally or informally, from playing professional football with the NFL or any Member Club, including AFL, World League of American Football, NFL Europe League and NFL Europa League players, or (2) were formerly on any roster, including preseason, regular season, or postseason, of any such Member Club or league and no longer are under contract to a Member Club and were not seeking active employment as a player with any Member Club, whether signed to a roster or signed to any practice squad, developmental squad, or taxi squad of a Member Club.
: Authorized representatives, ordered by a court or other official of competent jurisdiction under applicable state law, of deceased, legally incapacitated or incompetent Retired NFL Football Players.
: Spouses, parents, dependent children, or any other persons who properly under applicable state law assert the right to sue independently or derivatively by reason of their relationship with a living or deceased Retired NFL Football Player (for example, a spouse asserting the right to sue because of the injury to a husband who is a Retired NFL Football Player).
The Settlement recognizes two separate “Subclasses” of Settlement Class Members based on the Retired NFL Football Player’s injury status before July 7, 2014:
- Subclass 1: Retired NFL Football Players who were not diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia), Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) or Death with CTE prior to July 7, 2014, and their Representative Claimants and Derivative Claimants.
o Retired NFL Football Players who were diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia), or Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) prior to July 7, 2014, and their Representative Claimants and Derivative Claimants; and
o Representative Claimants of deceased Retired NFL Football Players who were diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia), or Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) before death or who died prior to July 7, 2014, and received a diagnosis of Death with CTE.
1.04. What players are not included in the Settlement Class?
The Settlement Class does not include:
- Players who retired on or after July 7, 2014; or
- People who tried out for but did not make it onto preseason, regular season or postseason rosters or practice, developmental or taxi squads of NFL Football teams or Member Clubs.
1.05. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement Class?
You can ask the Claims Administrator if you may be included in the Settlement Class by calling 1-855-887-3485, writing to NFL Concussion Settlement, P.O. Box 25369, Richmond, VA 23260, or emailing ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com. You may also consult with your attorney.
1.06. Who are the settlement administrators?
The settlement administrators are the person(s) or entities appointed by the Court to perform their assigned responsibilities under the Amended Settlement Agreement.
- BAP Administrator: Garretson Resolution Group, Inc. (“GRG”) was appointed by the Court to implement and administer all Baseline Assessment Program-related provisions of the Amended Settlement Agreement. The BAP Administrator’s duties include retaining and overseeing the Qualified BAP Providers and Qualified BAP Pharmacy Vendor(s); scheduling BAP baseline assessment examinations; holding and keeping confidential any medical records and Settlement forms completed by the Qualified BAP Providers; and establishing procedures for BAP Supplemental Benefits.
- Claims Administrator: BrownGreer PLC was appointed by the Court to implement and administer the Amended Settlement Agreement. The Claims Administrator’s duties include, without limitation, providing monthly financial reports to the Special Masters; maintaining the Settlement Website and call center; establishing and processing registration; processing, reviewing and auditing Claim Packages and Derivative Claim Packages; determining whether Settlement Class Members are entitled to Monetary Awards and any other tasks necessary to administer the Amended Settlement Agreement, as agreed to by Co-Lead Class Counsel and Counsel for the NFL Parties.
- Lien Resolution Administrator: GRG was appointed by the Court to administer the Lien-related provisions of the Amended Settlement Agreement. The Lien Resolution Administrator’s duties include, without limitation, administering the process for identification and satisfaction of applicable Liens (though Settlement Class Members, or their attorneys, are responsible for satisfying and discharging all Liens).
These administrators could change in the future by agreement of Co-Lead Class Counsel and Counsel for the NFL Parties and/or approval by the Court.
1.07. Who are the Special Masters?
The Court appointed Wendell Pritchett, the Presidential Professor of Law and Education at University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Jo-Ann M. Verrier, Vice Dean for Administrative Services at Penn Law, to serve as Special Masters to oversee certain aspects of the implementation and administration of the Amended Settlement Agreement on its behalf. The Special Masters will serve for at least a five-year term, which began on January 7, 2017. The Special Masters’ current duties include, without limitation, reporting and providing information to the Court; overseeing the BAP Administrator, Claims Administrator and Lien Resolution Administrator; overseeing complaints from Co-Lead Class Counsel, Counsel for the NFL Parties, or the settlement administrators; hearing appeals of registration determinations if requested by the Court; and overseeing fraud detection and prevention processes.
1.08. Do the settlement administrators report to the NFL Parties or Co-Lead Class Counsel?
The settlement administrators were appointed by the Court and must report to the Special Masters and the Court. Under the Amended Settlement Agreement, the Claims Administrator, BAP Administrator and Lien Resolution Administrator are also required to provide information on the progress and status of the Settlement program to Co-Lead Class Counsel, Counsel for the NFL Parties and the Special Masters.
1.09. What and when is the Effective Date?
The Settlement became final and effective on January 7, 2017, the date on which all timely filed appeals were resolved in favor of the Settlement.
1.10. If I opted out of the Settlement, can I still get benefits from this Settlement?
You will not get any Settlement benefits if you opted out from the Settlement. You are not eligible to receive a Monetary Award or participate in the Baseline Assessment Program. All Settlement Class Members who the Court deemed to have opted out of the Settlement are listed here.
1.11. If I did not opt out of the Settlement, can I sue the NFL Parties for the same thing later?
You gave up the right to sue the NFL Parties for all of the claims that this Settlement resolves unless you opted out. The deadline to opt out of the Settlement was October 14, 2014.
1.12. I opted out of the Settlement. May I revoke that Opt Out and get back into the Settlement program?
A Class Member may still seek to revoke an Opt Out by sending a written revocation request to the Claims Administrator. Click here to download and print the Opt Out Revocation Request Form. The Claims Administrator will present your request to Co-Lead Class Counsel and the NFL Parties for their consideration. If they consent, they will submit your request to the Court for approval. All Settlement Class Members who the Court deemed to have opted out of the Settlement are listed here.
1.13. Do I have a lawyer in the Settlement?
The Court appointed a number of lawyers to represent all Settlement Class Members as “Co-Lead Class Counsel,” “Class Counsel” and “Subclass Counsel.” They are:
| Christopher A. Seeger
Co-Lead Class Counsel
SEEGER WEISS LLP
77 Water Street
New York, NY 10005
| Sol Weiss |
Co-Lead Class Counsel
1710 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
| Steven C. Marks
PODHURST ORSECK P.A.
City National Bank Building
25 W. Flagler Street, Suite 800
Miami, FL 33130-1780
| Gene Locks |
LOCKS LAW FIRM
The Curtis Center, Suite 720 East
601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
| Arnold Levin
Counsel - Subclass 1
LEVIN FISHBEIN SEDRAN & BERMAN
510 Walnut Street, Suite 500
Philadelphia, PA 19106
| Dianne M. Nast |
Counsel - Subclass 2
NAST LAW LLC
1101 Market Street, Suite 2801
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers. If you are represented by your own attorney, you should contact that attorney to discuss the Settlement. You may hire an attorney at your expense. You do not have to hire an attorney to participate in the Settlement program, but the settlement administrators cannot provide you with any legal advice.
1.14. How will the lawyers be paid?
An award of “common benefit” attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs to Co-Lead Class Counsel, Class Counsel, Subclass Counsel and other attorneys who may have contributed directly to the establishment of the Settlement will be paid separately by the NFL Parties and not from the Baseline Assessment Program Fund, Education Fund or Monetary Award Fund. This award is subject to the approval of the Court.
Co-Lead Class Counsel may ask the Court to set aside up to five percent of each Monetary Award and Derivative Claimant Award to facilitate the Settlement program and related efforts of Co-Lead Class Counsel, Class Counsel and Subclass Counsel. If approved, this money would be held in a separate fund overseen by the Court. Any future request for a set-aside will describe: (1) the proposed amount; (2) how the money will be used; and (3) any other relevant information. This set-aside would come out of the claimant’s attorney’s fee if represented by individual counsel or, if not represented, out of the Monetary Award and Derivative Claimant Award itself. No money will be held back or set aside from any Award without a Court order.
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1.15. How do I get more information?
These FAQs summarize the Settlement. More details are in the Amended Settlement Agreement found here
. You may also contact the Claims Administrator
for more information.
DO NOT WRITE OR TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE NFL PARTIES FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT.