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Lead attorney in NFL concussion settlement says the case was ‘flawed’

Sep 17, 2013, 1:49 PM PDT


The lead attorney for the former football players that sued the NFL in a high-profile, class-action lawsuit, believes the case was flawed.

On the September 17 episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” Christopher Seeger, the lead attorney for the players in the head-trauma lawsuit, explained that the $756 million settlement from the league was the best he could do.

“I think we got every nickel we could get,” Seeger told Real Sports correspondent Jon Frankel. “I know the NFL has lots of nickels.  But we got every nickel that we could get.”

Seeger explained that when arguing the case of the players, it was difficult to place the blame solely on the NFL, because the athletes could have also sustained concussions while playing football in high school or college.

On August 29, a federal judge ruled that more than 4,500 players, including 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will receive the settlement from the league. Almost a month later, Seeger is speaking out about the case for the first time on the HBO show.

Here’s a particularly noteworthy portion of the interview:

CHRISTOPHER SEEGER: “I’m not making the argument for the NFL, but as the lawyer for the players, I have to recognize one thing about this case.  Many of the players, you know, who play two or three years in the NFL, four years in the NFL, spent more time playing football outside the NFL.”

JON FRANKEL: “Pop Warner, high school, college.”

CHRISTOPHER SEEGER: “So you know there were issues there.”

And it wasn’t just the difficulty of proving that the players were hurt in the NFL, Seeger says. There was also the risk that with so many plaintiffs, any unfavorable ruling could have a domino effect.

CHRISTOPHER SEEGER: “Where are these cases gonna go if we continue to litigate?  Will some of these guys– will they have their cases dismissed by the judge?  And if they get dismissed, it had the potential to dismiss thousands of cases.”

Former NFL players Dorsey Levins and Kevin Turner are also featured in the 60-minute episode of the show that is focusing on NFL’s concussion lawsuit. At the end of the interview, Levins states that he believes the lawsuit is just “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to NFL’s concussion issue.

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