In an interesting twist today, Judge Anita Brody, who’s been presiding over long-running litigation between the NFL and thousands of retired NFL players over accumulated football-related health problems, rejected preliminary terms of a settlement that she herself directed the two sides to just before the start of the 2013 season. In announcing her decision today, Judge Brody said she was concerned that the roughly $765 million settlement might not be enough to cover the nearly 20,000 retired players who have potential claims under the terms of the settlement.
I wrote at the time that the amount involved was really a drop in the bucket for the league, and Brody noted today that the money is supposed to payout over a 65 year period. What I am puzzled by is why these concerns are only being raised now. Was this just a matter of the judge having more time to think about this? We knew in August the rough dollar amount of the settlement, the number of players potentially involved and the potential long term health risks this cohort might face in the coming decades. So what changed?
This is probably not the news the NFL wanted to deal with as it approaches the climax of its season.