New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Relatives of former linebacker Junior Seau will opt out of the proposed settlement between the league and thousands of former players regarding concussion cases.
The decision to withdraw means the Seaus will proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit they filed in January 2013. That suit alleges that the NFL concealed the dangers of football-related head trauma over a period of several years.
Seau, who committed suicide in 2012, was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after his death. CTE is a neurodegenerative disease that has been found in dozens of deceased NFL players.
Seau, a shoo-in to the Football Hall of Famer, played 20 years in the NFL.
“The family want to know why this settlement seems designed for expediency for the NFL and to ensure that information doesn’t come out,” said Seau lawyer Steven Strauss, a partner in the firm Cooley LLP.
“And the Seau family wants the truth to come out. Since this litigation started, there hasn’t been one document produced, there hasn’t been one deposition taken,” he added.
Strauss said the Seaus concluded that the deal does not address several concerns, including adequate compensation for the descendants of the former players.
Seau’s lawyers filed a previous motion objecting to the first proposed settlement, and Strauss said the revised deal did nothing to address those issues.
The settlement received preliminary approval from a federal judge in July. The deal calls for payments to former players who qualify under a complicated system that measures the level of neurocognitive impairment related to diseases such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and CTE.
An initial $765 million deal was resubmitted after the judge raised questions about whether it provided enough money for the potentially large number of players who qualified. The total payout is now unlimited.