Former Steeler Alan Faneca Among Group Of Players Objecting To Concussion Settlement

Late last month, an arbitration settlement ruled that there would be no cap placed on the funds that the National Football League would pay to players suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of concussions sustained during their playing careers.

Seven former players, including former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca, have now filed an objection to the aforementioned proposal, which is still awaiting preliminary approval before anything can go forward.

The objections that the players’ representatives raise are many, and serious.

Foremost among their concerns is the fact that the proposed settlement limits the league’s liability for concussion-related ailments only to cases in which an individual exhibits symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Yet all seven players claim that they are already suffering from the effects of the repeated concussions suffered during their playing career, a list of ailments that includes “episodic depression, sleep disorders, mood and personality changes and attention and concentration deficits”.

The objection claims that the wording of the proposed agreement would prevent these symptoms from being covered by the league in the absence of symptoms of CTE.

Also of chief concern is the “procedural labyrinth” that the proposal constructs that makes it difficult for qualifying former players to apply for and receive payment, which the objection claims is “designed to limit the number and amount of settlement payouts”.

The filing goes on to raise grave concerns regarding the partiality of the counsel taking part in the arbitration, which contends that their award of $122.5 million in fees “increases the likelihood that class counsel will have bargained away something of value”.

That something of value includes lifting not a finger to raise any contention regarding the league’s culpability in retarding the progress of concussion education and research for years, arguing for some time that there was no link between concussions and CTE, among other claims that they have been forced to retract in the face of scientific research.

In the objection, the players’ representatives write that “class counsel settled this case without taking a single deposition and without the NFL producing a single document”, suggesting that the arbitration was merely procedural and received the rubber stamp treatment.

“The players face a whole series of obstacles as they make their claims while the lawyers who did very little collect their fees very quickly and easily”, it reads.

The objection raises some very serious charges, chief among them lack of proper coverage. It remains to be seen, however, whether the judge will refuse preliminary approval for the settlement agreement originally reached last month following this action.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • blackandgoldBullion

    We love our football but few consider the long term repurcussions for the athletes. Think about players who have dozens of surgeries, may have difficulties walking later in life or having any semblance of a normal life. Think about cases that are much worse where individuals end up being a shell of their former selves. The NFL does a great job of marketing and collecting billions of dollars, but they do not do enough to help or provide a pension for those who give much but receive little.

    I believe the average NFL career is still about 2.5 years. Most of these young men will come and go, many injured along the way, and never get to the second contract with the big bucks that might set them up for life if they are wise with their money. All we see is the huge bucks from the big contracts. How about paying the current players a little less, while putting the savings into helping those that have come before them that were not so lucky — those warriors that gave much but received little.

  • joed32

    Because the players are too greedy to accept less money and have it given to vets. Most of us will never earn a million dollars in our entire lifetime yet those 2.5 year players usually do. Nobody makes these guys play in the NFL, they do it by choice even though the dangers are well known.
    I think that the league should help veteran players with their football related medical bills, especially the ones who are not well off. Some of the players made many millions playing ball and they’re the ones complaining the loudest.

  • Alex Kozora

    Not to butt in here, but former Steeler Sean Morey is also apart of the seven objecting.

  • joed32

    Wasn’t Marino one as well? I thought there were more than just seven. If only seven players object to the settlement then the league will win.

    Morey played in the league for 11 years. Even at min wage that adds up.

  • Alex Kozora

    There’s a couple different suits, I think, I’m hazy on all the details. All that legal stuff gets confusing. Marino pulled his name out of whatever suit he was originally apart of, I know that.

  • Tom

    So much has been written about the link between CTE and concussions.

    Have there ever been any studies about a possible link between CTE and steroid use?

    I simply wonder if some of these “long term effects” being attributed to concussions may have have other factors in play.

  • rexreed

    Yes there have. Steroids, HGH, IGF-1 and cannabis have no associating with either causing and accelerating brain damage, In fact, HGH, IGF-1, and THC (an active substance of cannabis) have all been experimentally used to treat brain damage.

    If you want to talk about PEDs you might want spend some time looking into Steeler Drs. Rydze and Maroon. Rydze had his license pulled for distributing PEDs and Maroon sells PEDs to old people to make them young.

  • Tom

    Wow…I asked a simple question…..one that I did not know the answer to.

    How is that somehow manipulated into me drinking the NFL Kool-aid?

    After asking it…I did do a little “Google searching” on the topic.
    Finding that that no link has been established.

  • CrazyTerry

    Actually the NFL isnot as much to blame as the high schools and colleges. At least in the NFL you get paid big money to take risks and injuries. Schools and colleges play their injured athletes like they are in the pros.