Judge Rejects Proposed Settlement in Case Against NCAA

Posted in Negligence,Personal Injury on January 5, 2015

Just a few weeks ago, a federal judge in Chicago rejected a proposed settlement between a group of athletes and the NCAA for claims arising out of the league’s alleged failure to adequately protect student athletes. According to an article by the Associated Press, the proposed settlement of $75 million consisted of $70 million designated for testing of all student athletes for head injuries and $5 million for research into head-injury related matters.

no-match-today-1425869-mEvidently, however, the federal judge rejected the proposed settlement because he had concerns that the figure was not large enough to remedy the underlying concerns that gave rise to the case in the first place. The judge questioned, “The settlement, as it’s constituted, includes every athlete for all time. … Doesn’t it make sense to have a more manageable period?”

Another factor leading the judge to his decision was the fact that the class of athletes included all contact and non-contact athletes, meaning student water polo and baseball athletes are included as well as lacrosse and football athletes. The judge did not take issue with the inclusion of non-contact athletes, acknowledging that they too suffer head injuries at alarming rates. However, the judge did express his concern that the figure would not be adequate to cover all the athletes.

Why the Proposal Was Rejected

The judge’s concerns seem well-founded. According to NCAA numbers, there were almost 30,000 student athletes between the years of 2004 and 2009. Under the proposed settlement, each of these athletes would require testing to see if they suffered any head injuries during their participation in a sports program.

The judge had also previously expressed concern over another contentious and controversial aspect of the proposed settlement:  the clause that prevents any of the athletes from suing the NCAA in a class-action lawsuit. Instead, under the clause, the student athletes could only sue the NCAA as individuals. The judge’s concern is that, in cases of minor injuries, the cost of litigation for an individual may not justify the potential award amount. On the other hand, if they are allowed to group themselves together, they can share some of the litigation cost, making it more economically feasible to bring smaller claims.

With all that said, there is still no settlement on the table after the judge rejected the parties’ most recent attempt. However, spokespeople from both sides have expressed their confidence that a settlement will be reached and approved in the coming months.

Have You Been Injured in a Tennessee Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Tennessee accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages. In some cases, the best route is to accept an out-of-court settlement, and in others it makes the most sense to take the case to trial and allow a jury to determine the issues of liability and damages. In either situation, the assistance of an experienced Nashville personal injury attorney will prove invaluable. To learn more, call 615-200-1111 to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney today.

See Related Blog Posts:

Man Arrested in Clarksville after Causing Hit-and-Run Accident on I-24, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published December 17, 2014.

Woman Driving Under the Influence Crashes into Two Cars in Ft. Campbell, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published December 19, 2014.