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Judge Fears Settlement Too Small

Publication Date: 
January 15, 2014
Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune quotes Professor William Gould on the rejection of the NFL's attempt to settle their concussion-related lawsuit.  

A federal judge preliminarily rejected a proposed $765 million concussion settlement Tuesday between the NFL and more than 4,500 retired players because of concerns the money will be insufficient over the life of the deal.

The settlement, which would be paid over a 20-year period, is intended to cover the related medical expenses of those who may suffer lasting neurological damage linked to their playing careers. The settlement would cover a group that could top 20,000 players, whether they had sued the league or not, and is designed to last for 65 years.


”I’ve always regarded the money involved, given the number of potential claimants, as extremely small given the revenues of the NFL,” said William B. Gould, a Stanford law professor and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.

”I would have expected this settlement to be in the billions of dollars.”


Gould said he was “puzzled” about why the players’ attorneys did not include those analyses in their motion.

”They left (Brody) completely at sea,” he said. “She had nothing to go on. She had to make the decision she did. They’re requiring her to go on their word, as far as I can see.”