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NFL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT SUMMARY

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NFL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT SUMMARY. An Historic Agreement. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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NFL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT NFL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT SUMMARY 1 “A class action settlement that offers prompt relief is superior to the likely alternative—years of expensive, difficult, and uncertain litigation, with no assurance of recovery, while retired players’ physical and mental conditions continue to deteriorate.” – Judge Anita B. Brody U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania “In particular, it is my considered judgment that Plaintiffs would be unlikely to have obtained more money and benefits without going through years of discovery and trial, where they would face substantial risks of loss due to their inability to prove negligence or fraud on the part of the NFL Parties or judgments below what they will receive in this proposed settlement.” – Judge Layn Phillips, Former federal judge and Court-appointed mediator An Historic Agreement • Money now, not after years of litigating • Uncapped fund guaranteed to last 65 years • State-of-the-art medical testing, will contribute to research that makes football safer for future generations (in accordance with appropriate HIPAA protections) • Medical benefits if you are impaired, compensation if you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition, protection over the long-run if currently asymptomatic • Both the Baseline Assessment Program (BAP) and the Monetary Award Fund will be overseen by independent administrators These administrators will be approved by the Court The NFL will not determine who is eligible for benefits Benefits Now and for the Future Background • July 2011: First lawsuits filed against NFL • January 2012: Lawsuits coordinated in Eastern District of Pa. • June 7, 2012: Master complaint filed • April 9, 2013: Oral arguments held on NFL’s motion to dismiss on preemption grounds • July 8, 2013: Court orders parties into mediation, sets deadline of 9/3/13 • August 29, 2013: Parties announce $760 million settlement January 7, 2014: Motion for Preliminary Approval of settlement is filed January 14, 2014: Court denies Motion for Preliminary Approval without prejudice, instructs parties to provide more information June 25, 2014: Plaintiffs re-file Motion for Preliminary Approval of new settlement, compensation now guaranteed over 65-year life of fund July 7, 2014: Court grants motion for preliminary approval of settlement Background • Baseline Assessment Program: $75 million • Monetary Award Fund: All awards guaranteed over 65-year life of fund • Education programs: $10 million Who Is Eligible? The settlement includes all retired players, as of July 7, 2014, of the NFL, the American Football League (“AFL”) that merged with the NFL, the World League of American Football, NFL Europe League, and NFL Europa League, as well as authorized representatives of deceased, legally incapacitated or incompetent retired players and family members of retired players who meet certain criteria. Determining Eligible Seasons The Settlement uses the term "Eligible Season" to count the seasons in which a retired player played or practiced in the NFL or AFL. A retired player earns an Eligible Season for: • Each season where he was on an NFL or AFL Member Club's "Active List" for either three or more regular season or postseason games, or • Where he was on an Active List for one or more regular or postseason games and then spent two regular or postseason games on an injured reserve list or inactive list due to a concussion or head injury • A retired player also earns one-half of an Eligible Season for each season where he was on an NFL or AFL Member Club's practice, developmental, or taxi squad for at least eight games, but did not otherwise earn an Eligible Season Settlement Benefits Baseline Assessment Program All living retired players who have earned at least one-half of an eligible season may participate in the BAP. • The BAP is a nationwide network of qualified and independent providers (not NFL-appointed doctors) • BAP exams will include both a neuropsychological and neurological examination • Timing (age as of Effective Date of settlement) 43 and older: two years to get a baseline assessment Under 43: Within 10 years of commencement of the BAP, or until you turn 45, whichever is earlier • Players will receive information about the BAP after they register for the settlement Baseline Assessment Program The baseline assessment examination will include a full battery of neuropsychological and neurological tests. They will examine retired players’ functioning in a variety of categories, including: Complex Attention / Processing Speed Executive Functioning Learning and Memory Language Spatial-Perceptual Mental Health Baseline Assessment Program • If diagnosed with Level 1 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate cognitive impairment), a retired player will be eligible for medical benefits including: Medical treatment Pharmaceuticals Counseling • If diagnosed with a Level 1.5 (i.e., early Dementia) or Level 2 (i.e., moderate Dementia) Neurocognitive Impairment: Can apply to the Monetary Award Fund to receive compensation NFL will not choose the doctors who participate in the BAP program NFL will not decide who is eligible for benefits or compensation Baseline Assessment Program • Early diagnosis and treatment means better medical outcomes • Provides a baseline for future evaluations • Contributes to research and medical science (in accordance with appropriate HIPAA protections) • No Causation: retired players do not have to prove their neurocognitive condition was caused by NFL football to receive supplemental benefits Monetary Awards Retired Players diagnosed with the following conditions may be eligible to receive monetary compensation: • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) • Death with CTE (between January 1, 2006 and July 7, 2014) • Parkinson’s Disease • Alzheimer’s Disease • Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia) • Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) Monetary Awards • The uncapped fund guarantees that all qualifying retired players will receive monetary awards • No Causation: retired players do not have to prove their neurocognitive condition was caused by NFL football to receive a monetary award • All qualifying diagnoses will be made by a list of qualified and independent medical providers approved by the Claims Administrator Those who have received diagnosis from physician prior to Effective Date of settlement can submit claim to Appeals Advisory Panel NFL will not choose the doctors who participate in the MAF program • Exact amount of a retired player’s award will depend on several factors, such as age of diagnosis, number of eligible seasons played, a prior stroke or traumatic brain injury unrelated to NFL football, and participation in the BAP • NFL will not decide who is eligible for compensation If, during the term of the Fund, a retired player who has already received a Monetary Award from a qualifying diagnosis should subsequently be diagnosed with a different qualifying diagnosis, the retired player may be entitled to a Supplemental Monetary Award Monetary Awards • Average awards within each age range (excluding other adjustments) *Death with CTE claims must fall between January 1, 2006 and July 7, 2014 (date of preliminary approval of settlement),UNLESS the Court determines that claim would be allowed under applicable state law. For deaths occurring after July 7, 2014, there is no claim for Death with CTE. Age at Diagnosis ALS Death w/ CTE* Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s Level 2 Level 1.5 Under 45 $5,000,000 $4,000,000 $3,500,000 $3,500,000 $3,000,000 $1,500,000 45-49 $4,500,000 $3,200,000 $2,470,000 $2,300,000 $1,900,000 $950,000 50-54 $4,000,000 $2,300,000 $1,900,000 $1,600,000 $1,200,000 $600,000 55-59 $3,500,000 $1,400,000 $1,300,000 $1,150,000 $950,000 $475,000 60-64 $3,000,000 $1,200,000 $1,000,000 $950,000 $580,000 $290,000 65-69 $2,500,000 $980,000 $760,000 $620,000 $380,000 $190,000 70-74 $1,750,000 $600,000 $475,000 $380,000 $210,000 $105,000 75-79 $1,000,000 $160,000 $145,000 $130,000 $80,000 $40,000 80+ $300,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $25,000 Monetary Awards • Offsets for eligible seasons Number of Eligible Seasons Percentage of Reduction 4.5 10% 4 20% 3.5 30% 3 40% 2.5 50% 2 60% 1.5 70% 1 80% .5 90% 0 97.5% Players Retain All Other Benefits • This agreement leaves intact all current benefit programs offered by the NFL to retired players. These benefits include: 88 Plan (CBA Article 58) Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan, including the Neuro-Cognitive Disability Benefit (CBA Article 65) Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan Former Player Life Improvement Plan NFL Player Insurance Plan • Retired players can still pursue workers’ compensation claims against NFL teams AND receive benefits under the agreement Risks of Opting Out Preemption “Many, if not all, of Plaintiffs’ claims could have been dismissed at this early stage of the litigation if the NFL Parties prevailed on the preemption issue.” – Judge Anita B. Brody Causation • In Court, it is not enough to show that you are injured • Need to demonstrate that the NFL’s wrongful conduct caused your injuries • Need to show that the injuries resulted from NFL football (not college, high school, Pop Warner, family history, etc.) Risks of Opting Out Statute of Limitations • Most states have two or three year Statute of Limitations (SOL) Not all states have “Discovery Rule” Proof of fraud or late “Discovery” of claim to overcome SOL is case- specific and challenging Risks of Opting Out Exclusive Remedy (Worker’s Compensation) • The NFL was prepared to argue that the League was a “co- employer” of the players, with claims belonging exclusively in the worker’s compensation system • Not only does this settlement avoid the elimination of claims due to this defense, but players may still pursue worker’s compensation claims against the team(s) for which they played Risks of Opting Out Other Defenses Assumption of risk Proving reliance on the fraud Time and Uncertainty Those who opt out may face a long and uncertain road ahead Many retired players and their families cannot afford to wait “The significant legal challenges facing Plaintiffs support preliminary approval of the proposed Settlement.” – Judge Anita B. Brody Risks of Opting Out • Those who opt out will be permanently ineligible for the settlement benefits • If you opt out and develop a neurocognitive condition, you will be ineligible for this settlement’s benefits • If you opt-out, and your legal case is dismissed, you will be ineligible for this settlement’s benefits The Risks of Opting Out Next Steps Next Steps • The Court has granted preliminary approval of the settlement • Next steps include: Formal notice mailed to class members: July 24, 2014 (can also be found at www.NFLconcussionsettlement.com) Fairness Hearing: November 19, 2014 If final approval is granted by Court, claims process may open by Q2 2015 (estimated) Objectors who appeal settlement approval will delay Effective Date of settlement Next Steps • Registering for the Settlement Registration begins after final approval Website and phone information will be provided The Settlement Administrator will contact retired players with more information after they have registered You can currently sign up for more information on how to register at www.NFLconcussionsettlement.com • To apply for compensation Must be registered for the settlement Must submit “claim package” within two years of diagnosis or two years after settlement’s effective date (whichever is later) Additional Information For more information, please visit www.NFLconcussionsettlement.com or call 1-855-887-3485. 27 NFL CONCUSSION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT SUMMARY 28
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