The court fight over a proposed $765 million settlement for retired National Football League players who suffer from concussion-related medical conditions continues after seven athletes filed a motion this week seeking money for injuries and illnesses not mentioned in the original agreement.
A filing was submitted Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on behalf of Sean Morey, Alan Faneca, Ben Hamilton, Robert Royal, Roderick "Rock"Cartwright, Jeff Rohrer, and Sean Considine. The retired players argue that their specific medical conditions aren't covered under the NFL's proposed settlement that was announced in August.
In particular, the seven players claim that while they suffer from "chronic pain... episodic depression, mood and personality changes, chronic headaches" and other conditions, such medical problems aren't eligible for payments under the NFL's settlement agreement.
The proposed settlement "provided no monetary recovery — nothing at all —for class members suffering from many of the residual effects most commonly linked to recurrent and repetitive mild traumatic brain injury... while releasing every claim these class members may have against the NFL," the filing reads.
The NFL's proposed agreement would provide compensation to players who suffer conditions such as Lou Gehrig's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, court records show. It also includes payments for players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy if those players died before preliminary approval of the NFL settlement.
The seven players in this week's filing contend that they would only qualify for baseline medical testing under the settlement agreement, but that their claims would likely be released without receiving further medical care through the agreement.
"The Representative Plaintiffs are not adequately representing the interests of all members of the class," the filing reads. "They have already proposed and advocated a settlement that would provide a monetary benefit to only a small group of class members who were diagnosed with, one of four medical conditions, or are deceased with a diagnosis of (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), yet require all class members to release all claims."
U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody denied preliminary approval of the NFL's settlement proposal in January, saying the amount seems inadequate to cover more than 20,000 retired professional football players who may have suffered brain injuries.
The Philadelphia-based judge ordered the NFL to provide documentation from its “economists” who have “conducted analyses to ensure that there would be sufficient funding to provide benefits to all eligible class members,” and the settlement proposal is still being reviewed.
Attorneys in the concussion litigation have said the proposed settlement will not stop retired players from moving forward with concussion-related workers compensation claims that they have filed in various states.