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7 Ex-NFL Players Lose Appeal to Stop Concussion Settlement

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on September 12, 2014 2:17 PM

Seven ex-NFL players have lost their appeal to stop a settlement between the NFL and concussion victims and their families.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal Thursday to reconsider the NFL settlement that had been preliminarily approved in July. This settlement will potentially offer up to $5 million to former players and their families for ailments due to concussions, but the appealing players felt that this wasn't enough, Reuters reports.

What argument did these ex-players try to use, and what's next for the settlement?

Maybe Too Little?

Seven ex-NFL players -- Sean Morey, Roderick Cartwright, Sean Considine, Alan Faneca, Ben Hamilton, Jeff Rohrer, and Robert Royal -- were involved in the federal appeal to stop the settlement... before it's even finalized. The former players were worried that the payment structure set up in the NFL's proposed settlement, which capped the amount for each player at $5 million, did too little.

Reuters reports that Morey believed the settlement "did not offer enough to those who had yet to see the worst of their symptoms appear, and did not cover all diagnoses suffered by players with head trauma." He isn't the only one who feels this way; the late Junior Seau's family withdrew from the settlement, likely because the $4 million they would have received was too little. A federal judge even rejected the NFL's initial settlement offer of nearly $760 million because she felt it was not enough to cover ex-players or their families.

Players May Have Jumped the Gun

However, once the NFL agreed to lift the cap on the total settlement -- essentially agreeing to an unlimited total under the agreed-upon settlement per player -- the judge preliminarily approved it. But the eligible players' final vote to approve the settlement won't be until November, so the appellate court may have denied the appeal because it was premature. After all, there isn't even a final deal yet.

We won't know the court's reasoning for sure until it issues an opinion. According to Reuters, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Abro said the opinion would be ready "at a later date." In the meantime, players who oppose the NFL concussion settlement may need to go back to the drawing board.

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