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Seau's family opts out of proposed NFL settlement

Junior Seau's Family Rejects Concussion Settlement


NEW YORK (AP) -- The family of Junior Seau has opted out of a proposed NFL legal settlement with former players over concussion-related injuries.

The family will continue its wrongful death lawsuit against the league. Seau, a star linebacker for 20 seasons who made 11 Pro Bowls, committed suicide in 2012.

"We have tried to communicate it that it is not satisfactory and all we met were deaf ears," the family's lawyer, Steve Strauss, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "The settlement does not include any value at all for the claims of his four children. Or the loss of his companionship or the loss of his future earnings."

More than 4,500 former players have filed a class action suit against the league, some accusing it of fraud for its handling of concussions. They include Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett and Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers from dementia. A federal judge preliminarily approved the league's settlement proposal in July, which could exceed $675 million in total damages and involve as many as 20,000 retired players.

Former players and their families have the option to skip the settlement and pursue their own lawsuits. That's what Seau's family has done one month before the deadline to opt out, and Strauss hopes others will follow their lead.

"The decision to announce early is in the hope others will join, and that the league and the plaintiffs will look at adjusting the settlement," said Strauss, a partner at the law firm Cooley LLP. "It appears to the Seaus that the league is opting for expediency. The settlement process has completely prevented any information from coming out."

The settlement is designed to last at least 65 years and cover retired players who develop Lou Gehrig's disease, dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions sustained during their careers.

"If Mr. Strauss believes the $4 million his client is eligible for under the settlement is insufficient, he can choose to permanently forfeit these benefits and face all the significant risks associated with continued litigation," said Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the retired player plaintiffs in the NFL concussion settlement. "We would advise any class member against opting out of this agreement, considering the tremendous guaranteed benefits it provides."

The league declined comment on the Seau family's decision.

Join the discussion

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dredselw September 03 2014 at 7:06 PM

Did someone hold a gun on these players and make them take the million dollar paydays? Put the league out of business as my cable bill is too high now!

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3 replies
amp81803 September 03 2014 at 8:40 PM

greedy stupid lawyer. greedy stupid family. they ran through his money and now they trying to get more. They are being offered 4 million for a guy who killed himself.

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1 reply
toxicman7068 amp81803 September 04 2014 at 9:14 AM

It is all about greed. The NFL didn't put the gun to his head!

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iconkestrell September 03 2014 at 10:58 PM

The deadbeat family has to do everything they can to STILL live off of the support he provided when he was alive. God forbid any of them gets off their ass to work!!

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1 reply
toxicman7068 iconkestrell September 04 2014 at 9:15 AM

I like the way you worded that. That is right get off your ass get a real job, I HATE DEAD BEATS.

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dan_crabtree September 03 2014 at 9:27 PM

Beyond absurd..but this they know as well so all they have to do is find a nice liberal judge who knows none are to blame personally for there predicaments in life but evill corporations are and there swimming in the cash..And then all they have to do is find a good bill clinton or jimmy carter appointed federal judge or any new york judge or california judge as well and they are swimming in the cash bin once again..there all insane of course..burt thepay is real good an don; worry the fans will pick up there tabs..

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2 replies
James Lewman dan_crabtree September 03 2014 at 11:33 PM

wow and just how long did you sit a make that up.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Chris dan_crabtree September 04 2014 at 1:53 AM

MAybe they will get the "affluenza " judge from texas

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tony September 03 2014 at 8:58 PM

How many current NFL players have quit pro football because they were worried about concussions? How many college football players have given up football and their scholarships because they are worried about concussions? How many blue-chip high school football players have quit because of the risk? They all are making the decision to keep playing. Do you really think TD or Chicago Jim would have ever quit football because of a perceived risk?

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2 replies
Kathy tony September 04 2014 at 2:48 AM

The problem was at one point, the NFL was saying concussions didn't have any lasting effects. Which was wrong and now they are paying for it.

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1 reply
AMedicGary Kathy September 04 2014 at 11:05 AM

yea ..... and I didn't know smoking two packs a day would give me cancer ........ people need to act like they have some kind of common sense ...... it's all about the money ...... period.

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vickihanson7 tony September 04 2014 at 6:08 AM

$675 million in total damages and involve as many as 20,000 retired players = only $33,750 each.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
edward vickihanson7 September 04 2014 at 12:42 PM

you need to check your math! and lets talk about the steroids he was taking i think that caused more brain damage than any so called concussion

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DJ vickihanson7 September 04 2014 at 1:21 PM

that was the first settlement, now there is not a limit,

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bailey.willie September 03 2014 at 9:20 PM

THEY ARE GREEDY BASTERDS. NOBODY FORCED HIM TO PLAY AND HE GOT GOOD PAY.

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noteugene September 04 2014 at 6:06 AM

I hope they spend a few million on legal fees then get nothing. Let's see them prove that his decision to commit suicide was related to concussion related reasons. No where in this article does it state that this guy had such an injury, now or in the past. Greed.

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petersonentvt September 04 2014 at 8:41 AM

I hope these lazy greedy family members lose and even have to pay the nfl's legal fees. These men were paid millions to play 16 or so games a year. They didnt have to play, no one forced them to play football. It is a contact sport. Get over it.

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pubaer11 September 04 2014 at 8:22 AM

This is where personal responsibility comes into play. Players know the risks they take to play the game. If you have the same injury over and over, then YOU need to stop and think about your own future. Personal Responsibility!!!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
jgesselberty September 04 2014 at 9:42 AM

Has beens looking for another paycheck. They made the choice to play and put little aside for their declining years and health issues.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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