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Asking Tough Questions and Other Good Advice

Feb 26, 2012

With so many lawsuits being filed right now, we’ve been flooded with a lot of inquiries and questions on who to join and how to contact the various firms and groups. While Dave has taken a plaintiff position with Goldberg Persky & White in the concussion and helmet lawsuit and with Hausfeld LLP in the retired players benefits and representation lawsuit against the League and the NFLPA, each of you should make a conscientious decision to sign up with the firm that you feel represents your interests in the best way possible. While we’ve never dispensed any legal advice here, we’d like to post a list of common sense questions that you may want to ask any law firm you’re considering.
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And at the end of this post, we’re also attaching a copy of a letter that John Beasley sent to the Benefits Office that got some results.
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Retirees need to pose some tough questions to each law firm they’re considering:

  1. When did your firm first file a lawsuit for brain injury?
  2. Why did you begin filing lawsuits?
  3. What efforts have you personally undertaken to study the concussion epidemic beyond what you can find in the media?
  4. How is it that a class action would work when I played the game for a different team, suffer different symptoms and played during a different era?
  5. Why aren’t you suing Riddell or NFL Properties?
  6. How do we get beyond the Collective Bargaining Agreement that covers our rights?
  7. What medical experts have you personally dealt with?
  8. Can you say today that you would have ever filed a lawsuit if someone else didn’t file one first?

NOTE: We also need to caution everyone NOT to sign up with more than one firm on each issue (concussions, benefits or NFL Films, etc.).
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And here’s something from John Beasley:
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Hi Robert,
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Attached is a copy of my demand letter. As you’ll see, it’s short and simple. But within seven (7) days of my sending the letter out, I received the Election Form and my bumped up pension portion ($600) per month retroactive back to August. Nothing back yet on the Legacy Fund portion.
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I hope this may help some of the guys. Make sure the letter is sent via USPS Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested.
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Anything I can do don’t hesitate to contact me.
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Best regards,
John Beasley
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We uploaded a copy of John’s one-page letter to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Fullscreen button in the center of the menu at the bottom of the screen to view Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):
John Beasley NFL Demand Letter
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9 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. John Beasley
    February 27th, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    John Beasley

    I was just notified this morning that the Legacy Fund portion of our increased benefits has been deposited into my account, retroactive to August 2011.

    I have no idea if my demand letter expedited things but I do know that without it I would still making phone calls into the plan office with no return calls.

    Best regards,
    John Beasley
    Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints
    1967 – 1974

  2. Dave Pear
    February 27th, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Dave Pear

    Hi John,

    My experience with the NFLPA, NFL and the Bell/Rozelle Plan benefits is to ALWAYS send your requests Certified Mail and keep a notebook to document your conversations (in case you’re fortunate enough to ever be granted the opportunity to speak with these very important people).

    Example: Commissioner Goodell asked his lawyer Larry Lamade to assist me in acquiring a copy of the Plan Document from the Disability Board. Mr. Lamade and his firm have worked for the NFL for over 35 years. About 4 months later, my publisher (Robert) caught Mr. Lamade’s firm sending this anonymous email to davepear.com. The email address was: anonymous@hotmail.com and you can see the entire chain of events documented HERE HERE and HERE starting back in April 2008:

    “I WOULD BE CAREFUL WHO YOU ARBITRARILY ACCUSE, DAVID.’

    Was this a veiled threat or a prank? You decide. Larry Lamade admitted to this malfeasance from within his firm Akin Gump (20th largest law firm in the world located in Washington DC) but never directly apologized for this misconduct.

    Because Roger Goodell – and the League – employ Mr. Lamade, he wrote in an email that he was going to act as an “intermediary” for me in an effort to get a copy of the Plan Document.

    Where was my Union?!!

    About 2 months later during a phone conversation, Larry Lamade made the statement to me that if I qualified for the lowest level of disability I should not, “look a gift horse in the mouth.” When I reminded Larry about his sarcastic remark, he denied it. But I told Larry that I use a notebook and document my conversations and I asked Larry if he had a notebook and documented our conversation? Larry laughed out loud and didn’t answer my question but from then on he was more discreet with his cheap shots.

    Then there was Dee Becker who has worked for the NFLPA for almost 30 years! When I was having a conversation with her, I reminded her of what she said last time we spoke and she denied saying what she said. But when I reminded her that I use notebooks and I had documented our conversation, I asked if she wanted me to read it back to her. She immediately changed the tone of her voice and jumped into action in answering my request.

    So, put EVERYTHING in writing and send Certified Mail and keep a notebook when dealing with the NFL, the NFLPA, and the Bell/Rozelle Disability Plan office. And I know our good friend, George Visger, will certainly back me up on this!

    Regards,
    Dave & Heidi Pear

  3. Burt Grossman
    February 27th, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Burt Grossman

    Well, I finally had my Lawyer write a letter today to the Benefits office. This is really sad that you have to come to this, simply to get a return call or Election Form after trying for three months.

    I would suggest we get together and post an on-line petition to have this person Cynthia removed.

    Burt Grossman
    San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles
    1989 -1994

  4. Joe Steed
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Joe Steed

    This is what needs to happen: A test can be developed to examine the cerebrospinal fluid for the presence of tau proteins and microtubule subunits. The higher the amount of tau proteins and microtubule subunits, the more likely that athlete has CTE. That way, there is no need to wait for someone to die (a lie) to recognize whether or not that person has CTE.

    This will be a breakthrough for Alzheimers as well.

    A doctor needs to be found that will not be intimidated by external pressure.

    Joe Steed
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1992 – 1999

  5. Joanie Hardy
    February 27th, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Joanie Hardy

    Mr. Grossman:

    I fear that your benefits may be the last to be completed because you have spoken out!

    I have emailed Ms. Rose; called Ms. Rose; and it has been difficult to get any information let alone a response. I saw a player receive an immediate response on this very site which shows that they have more time to read this site than they do to follow through with their commitment of August 1, 2011. I’ve been polite as has my former husband, yet nothing. Good luck.

    Just don’t hold much hope that the NFLPA will begin to suddenly operate in a professional, knowledgeable way. I’ve not seen business run on such a low level of competence in… well, never. I really think they honestly don’t know what they are doing. Such incompetence couldn’t possibly be accomplished intentionally.

    If I had performed this way when I was an Escrow Officer, I wouldn’t have lasted since August 1, 2011 to this date.

    Like I said, I truly wish you luck.

    Joanie Hardy

  6. Ron Porter
    February 27th, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Ron Porter

    I must have been in the lucky draw. I received the Legacy payment from August last month and today received notice via mail that the monthly payment will be arriving on the 1st.

    Ron Porter
    Baltimore Colts, Philadelphia Eagles
    Minnesota Vikings
    1967 – 1973

  7. Don Brady
    February 27th, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Don Brady

    Hi Dave and Robert,

    To assist with informed decision making, may I strongly suggest that NFL players also ask the attorneys the following 2-part question:

    Who are the specific clinicians that are being utilized by their law firm to assist:

    1. with expert witness concussion knowledge;
    and
    2. as consultants on the legal team.

    The clinicians should go beyond medical persons and should also include knowledgeable psychologists and neuropsychologists who are free from conflicts of interests.

    I mention this after reflecting on the contents of a letter placed on one of these websites from an attorney who reported having a “Super Bowl team of lawyers” but no mention was given to clinicians who would be assisting the legal team.

    Regards,
    Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP, LMFT
    Licensed Clinical Psychologist
    Nationally and NYS Certified School Psychologist
    donbrady.com
    don@donbrady.com

  8. Patsy Lewis
    February 29th, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Patsy Jones

    Hello Burt,

    I am in agreement with you on Ms. Timpson. Please let me know when this petition is posted. As you are aware, I’ve also had my share of run-ins with Cynthia Timpson. (Click HERE.)

    The disrespect continues.

    Mark Lewis
    Patsy Lewis
    widow of Mark Lewis (1961 – 1993)
    Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions
    1985 – 1989

  9. Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP
    April 28th, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    Don Brady

    May I also suggest that readers visit my website to read two sport-related concussion articles that my wife, Flo, and I wrote and were published online by NASP during June 2011.

    The articles are listed below and may now be accessed on the Publications page of my website or by clicking on the title of each article here:

    Sport-Related Concussions. Brady, D. & Brady, F., NASP Communiqué, June, 2011.

    Sport-Related Concussions: Myths and Facts. Brady, D. & Brady, F., NASP Communiqué, June, 2011.

    Thanks
    Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP
    Licensed Psychologist

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