The long-waited agreement regarding the removal of race-norming in the ongoing concussion settlement in Philadelphia was delivered yesterday to U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody.
The 46-page tentative agreement, which originally was expected to be sealed pending a review by Judge Brody, instead was posted on the court’s website in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon.
The document will not be final until that review by the judge who has overseen this case for nearly a decade. Alumni who are plaintiffs in this case will be notified and then will have the opportunity to comment to the court on this settlement.
The deadline for this race-norming agreement originally was October 15 but was pushed back to October 20 at the request of attorneys for both sides who were still were working on the language of the terms.
Those of you who have been following this billion dollar-plus concussion settlement are aware of the race-norming issue. Many alumni and their families have argued that the use of “race-norming” to adjust cognitive test raw scores of Black players seeking concussion settlement monetary awards made it more difficult for those alumni to qualify for payments. Judge Brody earlier this year ordered the NFL and Christopher Seeger, class attorney for the plaintiffs, to “address the concerns relating to the race norming” before a Magistrate who has handled previous disputes in the Settlement Program.
The tentative agreement submitted to the court on Wednesday now eliminates the use of a race-based method to review dementia claims made by alumni in this case. According to reports, a panel of medical experts will develop new norms that will be applied to all neuropsychological tests under the program and all claims that have not yet been ruled on. In addition, these norms will be applied to all claims that currently are on appeal in which race-norming may be a factor.
We at NFL Alumni will continue to update you on developments in this case which is so important to many of you and your families.