NFL Concussion Settlement
On August 29, 2013, in cooperation with Marc S. Albert and several other prominent attorneys of the plaintiffs’ bar, the NFL agreed to a Global Settlement that would compensate former players of the league that had suffered injuries due to concussions the sum of $765 Million.
Marc S. Albert originally filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 former NFL players in the District Court of New Jersey against the NFL for serious brain injuries suffered due to concussions during their time playing in the league. Mr. Albert, together with co-counsel Seeger Weiss were the pioneers of the case, bringing the first concussion related claims to the attention of the league. The case filed by Mr. Albert detailed the NFL’s protocol of returning players who had suffered concussions back to play shortly after they sustained the injury – often during the same game. This irresponsible and dangerous practice was followed for years, despite overwhelming medical evidence that all concussions – including seemingly mild ones – permanently damage the brain and hasten mental decay, including early onset of senility and dementia, especially when they recur frequently.
FOLLOWING COUNTLESS SETTLEMENT MEETINGS WITH NFL ATTORNEYS AND REPRESENTATIVES, THE PARTIES AGREED TO A GLOBAL $765 MILLION SETTLEMENT WHICH HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE ANITA BRODY FOR APPROVAL.
The plaintiffs in the case also alleged that since the 1990s, the Nfl has misrepresented the medical evidence on the issue of concussions through its “hand- picked” committee of unqualified physicians who were purportedly researching the problem. The Nfl’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee had been established by the league to study post-concussion syndrome in Nfl players. Remarkably, however, the Nfl appointed a rheumatologist, Dr. Elliot Pellman, to chair the MTBI Committee, rather than a qualified neurologist. Dr. Pellman, who was trained in joint and muscle treatment, not head injuries and his Committee would go on for the next 13 years minimizing the significance of concussions.
Finally, the case brought to light for the first time the dangerous practice of administering Toradol injections to players in a pre-game setting, an issue that has since become a hot button topic in the media including but not limited to a segment on HBO Real Sports. Expert neurologists agree that the administration of Toradol to Nfl players in a pre-game setting is a dangerous and irresponsible practice and puts players at a significant risk of harm. Toradol, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, increases the risk of bleeding, a major concern for Nfl players who are about to step onto a football field and butt heads for three hours. In addition, because Toradol masks pain, players who have suffered a concussion during a game will likely not feel many of the symptoms that they would under normal circumstances, such as a severe headache, allowing for diagnosis of the condition and removal from the game.