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Thursday, December 18, 2014
NCAA Concussion Case Was Enough Money Awarded?
Plaintiffs in the NCAA’s concussion case submitted
documents earlier this week arguing that the $75 million
settlement funds were sufficient to fund a 50-year
medical monitoring program. Those documents were
submitted at the request of US District Judge John Lee,
who is presiding over the case.
CBS Sports reports that Lee denied
preliminary approval for the settlement on Wednesday,
citing several concerns he wants to see addressed. Lee
was concerned the settlement won’t fully fund the
medical monitoring program because of the inclusion of
student-athletes from non-contact sports. Lee asked for
a more specific framework of a medical monitoring
committee that will evaluate student-athlete
questionnaires, because if the “method used to
determine who receives a medical evaluation” it
wrongfully limits those who are eligible, “the health of
individual who should be receiving treatment could be
endangered.” He also raised concerns over the ability for
the plaintiffs and NCAA to notify class members since
many have been out of school for more than ten years.
Attorney Jay Edelson, representing plaintiff Anthony
Nichols, said the settlement is dead and indicated that
he will instead “aggressively” pursue a series of class-
action lawsuits against individual universities.
The Chicago Tribune states that Lee’s concern over
the ability of the settlement to fund the program depends
on participation rates calculated by experts for the
plaintiffs, which Lee said “are not reliable.”
The AP adds that Lee also questioned
whether the NCAA has jurisdiction to implement
concussion policies and wonders how they would
enforce them in the event of non-compliance.
The New York Timesnotes that though Lee had several
concerns, he called the proposal “a significant step in
trying to arrive at a resolution.” Furthermore the Times
says that a rejection of a preliminary settlement isn’t