NEW:  Who Is In Charge of the Common Good Fund?

The Settlement Agreement provides that a Common Good Entity, a not-for-profit corporation, will make grants from the Common Good Fund. The Entity will be governed by a Board of Directors of retired NFL players, and operated independently of the NFL and the NFLPA. The initial Court-appointed Board consists of the following players, who have established the Pro Football Retired Player Association (PFRPA) in order to administer the Settlement:


Jim Brown, Chair: Cleveland Browns (1957-65), HOF Member
Ron Mix: L.A./San Diego Chargers (1960-69), Oakland Raiders (1971-72), HOF Member
Dave Robinson: Green Bay Packers (1963-72), Washington Redskins (1973-74), HOF Member
Jack Youngblood: L.A. Rams (1971-84), HOF Member
Irv Cross: Philadelphia Eagles (1961-65, 1969), L.A. Rams (1966-68)
Billy Joe Dupree: Dallas Cowboys (1973-83)
Darrell Thompson: Green Bay Packers (1990-94)


The Board proposes to rename the Common Good Fund as the Greater Good Fund. Once the Settlement is approved by the federal court in Minneapolis, the Common Good Entity may establish subcommittees responsible for specific programs and benefits. The goal is to create a comprehensive, inclusive organization in which Class Members have a voice as to programs
 

NEW: The Settlement Agreement Contemplates Potential Licensing Opportunities. What Indications Are There Of Genuine Market Interest?

On August 7, the Board selected IMG, from a group of highly-qualified finalists, to help run the Licensing Agency. IMG is well-known as a market leader in sports marketing. You can read more about IMG at their website, imglicensing.com.


It is not possible to fully assess the potential revenue from all of the marketing and licensing opportunities that may be available until after the Settlement is approved by the Court. IMG, however, has expressed confidence that a wide range of commercial opportunities should be available to former players through the new licensing arrangements that will be in place after the Settlement is approved. Finalists who competed for the Agency’s business have described these opportunities as ranging from developing consumer goods to using game footage in connection with sponsorship and/or
branding agreements. These group opportunities are additive and do not interfere with a retired player’s current ability to license his individual publicity rights, including autographs.


The Settlement Agreement is structured so that these opportunities, which have not existed previously on a commercially useable scale, will generate income that the Licensing Agency will split two ways. The majority (75%) would go directly to the individual retirees whose images are used. A smaller portion (25%) would go to the Common Good Fund, to enable the Fund to continue to provide benefits to retired players for years to come, including those whose names and likenesses might not be featured in the licensed footage.


The Settlement Agreement establishes a limit (not to exceed 15%) on the percent of licensing revenue that may be used to defray the administrative and commission costs of the Licensing Agency. In this way, revenue from licensing opportunities to Class Members can be maximized.


As part of the Settlement, the NFL has committed to provide financial and promotional support to the Licensing Agency. Among other things, the NFL will provide the Licensing Agency with access to the NFL’s sponsors and to the club marketing meetings, providing a valuable “leg up” for the Licensing Agency. Similarly, the NFL will arrange for the Licensing Agency to have access to space at events such as the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl. In addition, the NFL has committed to work with its NFLShop.com licensee to sell retired player jerseys online and a link from NFL.com to the Licensing Agency’s website to provide it with broad commercial exposure.

 

NEW: Is There An Update On The Amount Of Attorneys’ Fees To Settling Plaintiffs’ Counsel?

The Settlement Agreement provides that no more than $8 million in the Settlement Fund can be used for attorneys’ fees and expenses, potential service awards for the Settling Plaintiffs, costs of notice and for Settlement administration and the establishment and initial operations of the Licensing Agency.


On May 30, 2013, Plaintiffs’ Settling Counsel, who are seeking attorneys’ fees and expenses from this Settlement Fund, submitted to the Court and Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel their applications for such fees and expenses along with the detailed time and expense reports required by the Court in the Preliminary Approval Order. The total amount requested by all counsel was $13.8 Million.


Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel reviewed and audited each application to assure they comply with the requirements of the Preliminary Approval Order. Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel then proposed recommended adjustments to the applications based on the requirements.

 

Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel then submitted its recommendation to the Court as to the total amount of attorneys’ fees and expenses that should be allocated among the various law firms that submitted applications and the specific amount that should be awarded from that total to each law firm.
Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel recommended that, of the $8 million available, only $6.2 million should be allocated for attorneys’ fees and expenses. The specific amounts that Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel recommended be awarded to each law firm can be reviewed by going to the Settlement website, www.nflretireepublicitysettlement.com, clicking on “Important Documents,” then clicking on the link “Fee Recommendation.”


Additionally, Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel recommended service awards of $2,500 for three of the Settling Plaintiffs. The specifics are set forth in the Fee Recommendations.


Ultimately, the Court will decide on the appropriate amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded to each counsel and in total.

 

NEW: How Much Money Will Be Available To Fund The Licensing Agency?

The Settlement Agreement provides that no more than $8 million in the Settlement Fund can be used for attorneys’ fees and expenses, potential service awards for the Settling Plaintiffs, costs of notice and for Settlement administration and the establishment and initial operations of the Licensing Agency.


Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel has recommended to the Court that it take $1,250,000 of that $8 million and dedicate it for use by the Licensing Agency during the first few years. This amount will be used by the Licensing Agency to assist it in defraying its start-up costs and marketing and other expenses incurred in the early years of its operations.

 

NEW: How Will Retired Players Receive Assistance In Obtaining The Benefits Of The Settlement And Other Benefits For Which They May Be Eligible?

The Common Good Entity intends to use part of its Settlement funds to hire independent Retired Player Advocates (RPAs). The RPAs will be available to assist Class Members, through a toll-free hotline, to handle questions about the benefits provided by the Settlement and the NFLA and the NFLPA and to guide them through the process of applying for and receiving them.

RPAs will:

 

  • Provide outreach to retirees to educate them on benefits for which they may be eligible

  • Identify the benefits for which they may be eligible

  • Guide retirees through any application processes and assist them with forms and informational requests

  • Assist with any other procedural issues


The NFL has agreed to train RPAs on the benefits currently offered by the NFL, the NFLPA, and the NFL Player Care Foundation.

 

NEW: What Settlement Benefits For Class Members Have Been Identified Since The Court’s Preliminary Approval Of The Settlement Agreement?

The Board of the Common Good Entity has spent months meeting with the NFL and the NFL Player Care Foundation to gain a thorough understanding of the current programs that they offer and ways the Common Good Fund might contribute toward filling in existing gaps with funding from the Settlement.


In addition, the Board has identified some possible new programs, described below, one or more of which potentially could be funded by the Settlement Agreement and be made available to Class Members within the first couple of years following final approval of the Settlement. These programs are still under development and the Board welcomes and encourages comments from Class Members on the types of programs would help the most. If the Common Good Fund is used to support one or more of the following programs, the Board may establish eligibility criteria based on age, income, duration of the Class Member’s career, or other objective factors.

 

  • Educational Grants: Under current benefit programs, educational grants are only available for recently retired NFL players. If the Settlement is approved, the Board may choose to make an annual allocation from the Common Good Fund to assist other retired players, as well as their spouses and children, to help pay for part of their educational costs.

  • Insurance Premium and Co-Pay Assistance: Retired players have expressed the need for assistance with the high cost of paying for health insurance. To that end, the Board is working with a health care consultant toward establishing an online platform for the purchase of such insurance. If the Settlement is approved and the Board adopts this program, it could annually earmark a fixed sum from the Common Good Fund to assist those who purchase insurance through the platform to pay for their insurance costs. If the program is adopted, potentially up to $1,000
    per year reimbursement for premium or co-pay assistance would be available for each Class Member. The RPAs (discussed above) would also be available to help players apply for additional funding from the NFL Player Care Foundation, which is specifically designed to address these types of needs.

  • Life Insurance: The NFL currently offers a life insurance benefit to vested players under 55, subject to other restrictions. The Board of the Common Good Entity has contacted multiple vendors to obtain quotes for providing life insurance coverage for all other retired players who may not otherwise be eligible for the NFL-sponsored coverage.

  • Critical Care Insurance: The Board also is evaluating a critical care insurance program that would cover the cost of such insurance for retired players who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

  • Dental Insurance: The Board also is evaluating a dental insurance program that would help NFL retirees with additional dental coverage.

NEW: How do I rejoin the settlement if I have already opted out?

Anybody who has opted out of the settlement may rejoin the settlement up until August 30, the opt-out deadline. In order to rejoin the settlement, simply send a letter stating your decision to the same address as the one to whom you sent your opt-out notice:


NFL Retired Players Publicity Rights Settlement Exclusion
P.O. BOX 2899
Faribault, MN 55021-8699


The only way to rejoin the settlement is to do so in writing following this procedure. You may not rejoin the settlement on the telephone, by email, or at the Settlement website. The letter must be postmarked on or before August 30. Sample language is below:


I, [name], wish to withdraw my exclusion notice dated [date of your opt out notice].

 

What is being settled?  

This Settlement Agreement resolves the Claims alleged in the lawsuit titled Dryer et al. v. National Football League, which was filed in the District of Minnesota under Case No. 09-cv-2182-PAM-AJB.

 

Who are the class members?

All individuals who, prior to the date of the Preliminary Approval Order, were on the roster of any Member Club and who, as of the date of the Preliminary Approval Order:

 

  • Have retired, formally or informally, from playing professional football with the NFL or any Member Club, or

  • Were formerly on any roster of any Member Club and are no longer under contract to a Member Club and are not seeking active employment as an NFL Player with any Member Club, (collectively “Retired Players”); and

  • The heirs, executors, administrators, beneficiaries, successors, and assigns of deceased Retired Players and who own or control their Publicity Rights

 

What do class members receive from the settlement?

This Settlement offers significant benefits to Class Members.

 

First, the NFL has agreed to contribute $50 million toward the Settlement.

 

  • $42 million will be used to fund a Common Good Fund that will benefit retired NFL Players.  The Common Good Fund will be managed by a newly established Common Good Entity, governed by a board of which the initial members will be Retired Players appointed by the Court.  The purposes for which the NFL’s contributions to the Fund may be disbursed are detailed below (see Question 19).

  • $8 million will be used to pay for:

    • Notice to the Class and administration of the Settlement ($450,000);

    • The remaining $7,550,000 will pay for attorneys' fees and expenses, service awards for the Settling Plaintiffs in amounts to be decided by the Court and additional costs for establishing and the initial operations of the Licensing Agency

​​

Second, the Settlement establishes a Licensing Agency that will license the publicity rights of Retired Players on a group basis.  Any Class Members whose Publicity Rights are licensed by the Agency for commercial uses will be paid for those uses.

 

What do class members have to give up?

If the Settlement is approved by the Court and becomes final, Class Members who do not exclude themselves (opt out) from the Settlement will release their claims against the NFL, Member Clubs, other affiliates of the NFL and any of their authorized licensees that relate to Publicity Rights, as follows:

 

  • Claims arising out of any use of the Class Members’ Publicity Rights by the NFL, Member Clubs and other affiliates of the NFL, in any media or format, up to the date on which the Court finally approves the Settlement.

  • All other claims that result from any past or future uses of Class Members’ Publicity Rights by the NFL, Member Clubs, other affiliates of the NFL or any of their licensees that publicize, promote, market or advertise the NFL, any Member Clubs, the sport of NFL football, or any NFL football game, so long as their Publicity Rights are not being used in a manner that constitutes an endorsement of any third party’s (i.e., non-NFL) brand, product, or service.

 

In addition, Class Members promise not to contest the rights of the NFL, Member Clubs and other affiliates of the NFL to use any game footage (which includes photographs) in any media or format or to produce, license, sell, market or distribute or perform any game footage, so long as their Publicity Rights are not being used in a manner that constitutes an endorsement of any third party’s (i.e., non-NFL) brand, product, or service.

 

Do class Members give up their rights to sue the NFL over other types of claims?

The Settlement Agreement does not release any other claims that a Class Member may have that are unrelated to Publicity Rights, such as claims for worker’s compensation, personal injury, pension benefits or other contracts.

 

Why has this Settlement been reached and why now?

From the outset, the NFL has denied any wrongdoing or liability.  The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or the NFL and has not made any findings that any law was broken or that the NFL did what the Plaintiffs claim it did.  Still, this case has now lasted several years. It has included the review of more than half a million pages of paper and electronic documents produced by the NFL, depositions of all but one of the original named plaintiffs and extensive settlement negotiations.

 

The negotiations over the last eight months were particularly vigorous and conducted under the active supervision and participation of Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan.  (In 2011, Judge Boylan worked closely with the NFL and the NFL Players Association to resolve their labor dispute.)  As a result of this latest round of negotiations, the settling parties agreed to end the litigation.

 

There are risks involved in continued litigation on both sides. Given the strengths and weaknesses of the case, the complexity of the issues involved and the expense of continued litigation, the settling parties agreed that this resolution offered a significant benefit to the Settlement Class, while providing the NFL with the release of these claims from the Class Members.

 

The Settling Plaintiffs and the NFL who have entered into the Settlement and their lawyers think that the Settlement is best for all Class Members.

 

Why is the NFL paying $50 million?

The total payment is the direct result of negotiations that were conducted under the direct supervision of Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan.  Although much of the $50 million goes to the Common Good Fund, which will be disbursed for the benefit of Settlement Class Members, the creation of a new Licensing Agency to license Retired Players’ Publicity Rights offers Class Members the opportunity to earn revenue in the future.  The degree to which that happens is based entirely on the market demand for the Publicity Rights of Retired Players.  If that demand is significant, then licensing by the Licensing Agency for commercial uses could produce meaningful revenues for those Retired Players.

 

Why not make payments to each Retired Player?

This Settlement can result in benefiting individual Retired Players in two ways.  First, the creation of the Licensing Agency has the potential to provide direct payments to Class Members whose Publicity Rights are licensed, on a group basis, on their behalf.

 

Second, the Common Good Fund will make contributions to organizations for the purpose of providing health, welfare and other benefits to Class Members.  A Common Good Entity, with an initial Board of Retired Players, will manage the Common Good Fund and decide which organizations it will support.

 

How will the Licensing Agency work?

If this Settlement is approved, a new Licensing Agency will be established to market, promote and license Class Members’ Publicity Rights.

 

Publicity Rights are the rights of an individual to control any commercial use of his/her name, image, or some other aspects of one’s identity.  This case involves publicity rights of retired NFL players.  They include elements of his identity, such as his name, nickname, initials, likeness, image, picture, photograph, animation, persona, autograph/signature (including facsimiles of his autograph or signature), appearance, voice, personal or biographical information, or any other identifying or personal characteristic of the player.  The Settlement calls these elements “Player Identity Elements.”

 

The Licensing Agency can license Group Publicity Rights and Individually Authorized Publicity Rights.

 

“Group Publicity Rights” are the combined use by a single licensee of the Player Identity Elements of:

 

  • Either a group of at least six Class Members, where the use also involves NFL game footage, or

  • At least 50 Class Members, if the use does not involve NFL game footage, but does involve other NFL intellectual property rights, such as the NFL shield logo or the NFL’s copyrights in footage and photographs.

 

The Licensing Agency will pay revenues received from licensing Group Publicity Rights.  After deducting an amount for the Licensing Agency’s operating expenses (which are capped at 15% of revenues), revenues will be distributed as follows:

 

  • 75% to the Class Members whose Player Identity Elements are used.

  • 25% to the Common Good Fund as contributions on behalf of such Class Members.

 

The Licensing Agency will determine how to distribute the revenue among Class Members whose Player Identity Elements are licensed for a single use.

 

As to “Individually Authorized Publicity Rights,” if any individual Retired Player, particularly those who do not now have licensing agents, are interested in doing so, they also may authorize the Agency to license their Publicity Rights, apart from other Retired Players.

 

Under no circumstances, however, will the Licensing Agency license Publicity Rights for uses that unduly focus on, feature or highlight a retired NFL player in a manner that leads the reasonable consumer to believe that he is a spokesperson for, or promoter of, a non-NFL party’s brand, product, or service unless a Class Member expressly authorizes it to do so.

 

Does a Class Member have to allow for the Licensing Agency to license his Publicity Rights?

By participating in the Settlement, a Class Member is authorizing the Licensing Agency to license his Group Publicity Rights. A Class Member, however, always can withdraw the authorization to license his Player Identity Elements, whether in connection with the licensing of Group Publicity Rights or Individually Authorized Publicity Rights, at any time. A Settlement Class Member also can subsequently grant the Licensing Agency the rights to license either his Group Publicity Rights or his Individually Authorized Publicity Rights.

 

Once the Licensing Agency opens, how does the process of licensing Retired Players' Publicity Rights change?

The Licensing Agency will offer the opportunity for the public to have a single entity in which they approach to license the Publicity Rights of Retired Players. This “one stop shopping” will offer potential licensees the benefit of obtaining a license for a group of Retired Players without the burden and expense of having to obtain separate licenses from each Retired Player individually.

 

It also provides the opportunity to license the Publicity Rights of Retired NFL Players at the same time as the NFL is licensing its own intellectual property (such as the NFL logo or individual club logos and related intellectual property) for the same uses.  Once the Agency receives a request from a potential licensee to license the NFL’s intellectual property, it will forward the request to the NFL for approval and a license.

 

Having created an easier way to license Publicity Rights of Retired Players on a group basis, the full extent of the marketplace demand for Retired Player Publicity Rights will become apparent.

 

How can a third party obtain a license for a Retired Player's Publicity rights?  Who do they contact?

Once the Licensing Agency is established, a third party seeking a license can contact it directly.

 

Can a Retired Player remain in the Licensing Agency for purposes of Group Publicity Rights but not have the Licensing Agency license all other Publicity Rights?

Yes.  The Licensing Agency will have no rights to license Publicity Rights other than Group Publicity Rights.  If a Class Member has decided to grant authorization to license his Individually Authorized Publicity Rights, he can withdraw that authorization at any time. Doing so will have no effect on the Licensing Agency marketing, promoting and licensing his Player Identity Element for purposes of Group Publicity Rights.

 

Are the Retired Players giving up their right to license their Publicity Rights themselves?

No.  The Licensing Agency will license these Publicity Rights on a non-exclusive basis. Retired Players can continue to license these rights on their own or with other Retired Players.

 

Who is running the Licensing Agency?

The initial members of the Board of Directors of the Licensing Agency will be appointed by the Court from among a panel of candidates proposed by Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel and agreed to by the NFL.

 

The Court will make its selections in connection with the Preliminary Approval Hearing.  The initial members of the Board of Directors will be:  James Nathaniel Brown; Irvin Acie Cross; Billy Joe Dupree; Ronald Mix; Darrell Thompson; Jack Youngblood; and David Robinson.

 

Replacements to the initial directors will be selected in accordance with the Licensing Agency’s By-laws.

 

Pursuant to the Licensing Agency’s By-laws, the Board of Directors will elect Officers to assist in the daily management of the Agency.  These will include a President, Vice President, Secretary and may also include a Treasurer.  Their duties are set out in the By-laws.  The Board can also set up committees to help manage the Agency and hire people to run it on a day-to-day basis.

 

Will the Licensing Agency and NFL work together?

Yes.  Although the Licensing Agency will be independent of the NFL and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) and will be governed by its own Board of Directors, the NFL will promote and market the Licensing Agency in various ways.

 

The Licensing Agency does not itself have the right to license NFL copyrights and trademarks, just as the NFL may not have the right to license Publicity Rights of Retired Players for certain purposes.  As a result, by working together, the Licensing Agency and the NFL will optimize business opportunities for both of them.  The NFL will cooperate with the Licensing Agency when a potential licensee of Class Members’ Publicity Rights also requests a license from the NFL for intellectual property rights that the NFL controls.

 

The NFL will provide assistance to the Licensing Agency to develop an initial database of Class Members.

 

The NFL will also assist in the promotion and marketing of the Licensing Agency by:

 

  • Providing at least $100,000 worth of media value for the Licensing Agency’s commercials;

  • Causing the NFL’s licensee for the NFL Shop.com to develop a robust retired NFL players’ apparel section that will offer jerseys for at least 100 retired NFL players and will actively promote such apparel in conjunction with the NFL;

  • Providing the Licensing Agency with access to the NFL Media Center at each Super Bowl to address the media and providing it with event space in the host city to host an event for its clients;

  • Providing the Licensing Agency with footage of NFL games on a royalty-free basis for the purpose of advertising the Licensing Agency’s services;

  • Providing the Licensing Agency with access to any annual NFL Sponsor Summit and any annual NFL Club Marketing meeting;

  • Providing the Licensing Agency with access to event space in the host city for each Pro Bowl to host an event for its clients;

  • Maintaining a link to the Licensing Agency’s website on NFL.com; and

  • Undertaking such additional promotional support as the NFL and the Licensing Agency may agree.

 

Why is a portion of the revenue generated by the Licensing Agency being paid to the Common Good Fund rather than having all of it paid to Retired Players?

A portion of the funds earned through licensing will be contributed to the Common Good Fund on behalf of the Retired Players whose Publicity Rights are being licensed.  The NFL’s uses of Retired Players’ Publicity Rights involved many retired players and the marketability and value of those Publicity Rights may differ.  Therefore, these contributions are being made so that all Class Members can benefit fairly from the Settlement, not just the Retired Players for which the market demand for their Publicity Rights may be greater.

 

How is the Common Good Fund going to work?

Under the Settlement, the NFL will contribute $42 million (the “NFL Common Good Fund Contribution”) over a period of eight years to a charitable fund called the “Common Good Fund.”

 

The Settlement requires the establishment of a not-for-profit charitable foundation called the “Common Good Entity” to run the Common Good Fund to benefit retired NFL players.

 

The NFL’s contributions to the Common Good Fund will be used to supplement the programs and benefits already provided to retired NFL players through the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA or other supplemental programs that are established by the NFL, the NFLPA or third parties.

 

The Common Good Entity will be independent of the NFL and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) and will be governed by its own Board of Directors.

 

What benefits can a Retired Player get from this fund?

The Common Good Entity will be governed by a Board of Directors that will include Class Members.  It will distribute money from the Common Good Fund to other reputable third-party charitable organizations, not-for-profit institutions, or health and welfare organizations.  Those organizations may use the grants from the Common Good Fund for the following purposes and for the benefit of Class Members who are Retired Players:

 

  • Medical research;

  • Short term and long term housing facilities;

  • Health and dental insurance coverage;

  • Medical screenings and evaluations;

  • Mental health programs;

  • Wellness programs;

  • Career transition programs, including employment training and support;

  • Any medical costs incurred by a Retired Player and not covered under a health insurance policy, provided that any allocation for this type of expense is made under objective and uniform need-based criteria applicable to a group of Retired Players; and

  • Other uses agreed to by the Board of the Common Good Entity, Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel and the NFL.

 

How were the proposed members of the Board of the Common Good Entity selected for submission to the Court?

The proposed initial Board of Directors of the Common Good Entity were proposed by Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel and agreed to by the NFL.  They are:  James Nathaniel Brown; Irvin Acie Cross; Billy Joe Dupree; Ronald Mix; Darrell Thompson; Jack Youngblood; and David Robinson.

 

Why does the Settlement Agreement include an indemnification clause that allows deductions from payments to the Common Good Fund?

Under the terms of the Settlement, in exchange for the substantial financial and in-kind contributions the NFL has agreed to make, the NFL requested and received some protection against the costs of possible continued litigation by some Class Members (an “Opt-Out Claim”).  Starting in the sixth year, the NFL can deduct from payments to the Common Good Fund all reasonable expenses that any of the NFL Parties has paid to defend, settle, or pay judgments on Opt-Out Claim.

 

The NFL cannot deduct more than a total of $13.5 million.

 

If every Class Member remains in the Settlement, there will be no deductions from the $42 million the NFL has agreed to pay into the Common Good Fund.  That amount will be available to benefit all eligible Retired Players through disbursements from the Common Good Fund.

 

If, however, certain Retired Players choose to opt out of the Settlement Class and sue on their own behalf, amounts that otherwise would be available to benefit Class Members will be used to pay the expenses incurred in defending and resolving the Opt Out Claims, if needed.

 

Why are the payments over 8 years instead of all at once?

The Parties agreed that payments into the Common Good Fund should be spread out over a period of 8 years so as to assure that the benefits can continue over time and fund projects that last more than a short time.

 

Why did the Court appoint separate Settlement Counsel for the Plaintiffs?

The Court appointed Mr. Gustafson to be Lead Settlement Counsel on December 12, 2012 because of the disagreements between Interim Lead Counsel about how to proceed with the settlement talks.  To resolve this conflict, the order stated that the Court “believes it’s appropriate to appoint one lawyer to act as Lead Settlement Counsel for the putative class.”

 

Mr. Gustafson has since been serving in that role.

 

How does this relate to the concussions cases?

This case does not relate in any way to the concussion cases.  The release being given by these Class Members does not include a release of those claims.

 

Is there a limit on attorneys' fees that can be given to Settling Plaintiffs' Counsel?

The attorneys’ fees will be awarded by the Court after an audit by Plaintiffs’ Lead Settlement Counsel and recommendations as to the amount that should be awarded to each firm.  No more than $8 million in the Settlement Fund can be used for attorneys’ fees and expenses, potential service awards for the Settling Plaintiffs, notice and Settlement administration and the establishment and initial operations of the Licensing Agency.

 

Ultimately, the Court will decide on the appropriate amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded in this case.

 

How many Class Members are there?

Approximately 25,000 Retired Players and their respective heirs and assigns.

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS