USAToday: Chargers 'devastated' by ex-DB Paul Oliver's suicide at 29    League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, will air on FRONTLINE on October 8 & 15. Check your local listings    LA Times: Deion Sanders, critic of NFL concussion suits, seeks workers' comp    FOXSports: NFL, players reach proposed $765M settlement of concussion-related lawsuits    Sean Pamphilon's United States of Football in theaters starting Aug 23rd!    Washington Post: Do no harm: Who should bear the costs of retired NFL players’ medical bills?    You can catch all the posts and videos from our recent Third Annual Football Veterans Conference - everything now posted here on Dave's Blog!

Money-Flying-Out-WindowThe NFLPA just filed their 2013 LM-2 yesterday with the Dept. of Labor as required of all labor unions and associations. This year, it’s a whopping 549 pages long with plenty of disclosure including salaries, payouts and expenses. We’re just starting to look over all the information loaded in this year’s filing and we’ll post more details shortly as we come across interesting details (we encourage all our readers to send us anything you come across or simply post it in the Comments section below).
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A couple of items of interest:
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p. 555 - Marco Island Marriott Resort & Golf Club was paid $354,796 for the NFLPA’s April and June meetings in 2012.
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p. 544 - Kerzner International Resorts in Plantation FL was paid a total of $1,221,137 for a total of FOUR “2013 NFLPA Board Meetings”! (Wha?!!)
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p. 264 - The Groom Law Group (who were supposed to be fired by DeMaurice Smith when he took over as NFLPA Executive Director) and also runs and represents not only the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan but also the NFL walked away with $652,045 in fees this year.
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p. 55 - Nike paid $11,772,308 in licensing fees.
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p. 45 - Attorney Jeffrey Kessler had a $12,846 transaction for Super Bowl tickets and rooms.
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Meanwhile, Kessler’s new firm Winston Strawn was paid (his old firm, Dewey LaBoeuf filed for bankruptcy last year):

  • p. 82 - $3,932,388
  • p. 538 - $124,592
  • p. 538 - $46,879

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p. 20 - Nolan Harrison III received $226,055 as Senior Director of Former Players.
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p. 18 - Andre Collins only received $169,253 as Director of Former Players.
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Another inside look at how the NFLPA functions at its core particularly when it comes to retired players: Bruce Laird spent many years alongside Sam Havrilak as officers of the local chapter for the NFLPA in Baltimore. And during many of those years, Bruce and his fellow alumni also ran Fourth and Goal, a nonprofit and advocacy group for retired players which managed to provide assistance to those players in need. Now that George Martin’s NFL Alumni has been marginalized, it seems that the NFLPA only recently noticed that Bruce and Sam have been running Fourth and Goal while also working within their Baltimore chapter! Hard to tell if the PA is trying to clean house now that the Alumni is gone or if they only just realized that Bruce and Sam have been voicing their opinions for years about the real plight of retired players. Perhaps Gene Upshaw stopped by to remind them…
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Dave has been talking with Bette Schwager over the past few weeks about her treatment (or mistreatment) at the hands of the NFLPA and the Players Assistance Trust (PAT). We asked her to write the story in her own words so that our readers can understand just a little of the senseless treatment she and her family have been put through by the NFLPA and their so-called assistance programs this past year. Bette’s husband, Bruce, had played football at the Merchant Marine Academy before being drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1955. The Cardinals refused to take him off their reserve list even as he went in to service with the Navy from 1956 – 1958. So Bruce became another one of the pre-’93 players (pre-’72!) who was actually on the roster and vested with enough years but never granted vesting. You can read the full story from Alan Schwarz in his June 2011 New York Times article – click HERE. We’ve also posted a copy of the 2-page Release Letter that the NFLPA tried to get Bette to sign after Bruce passed away before he was to be evicted from his dementia care facility because the NFLPA stopped paying his bill. After you read Bette’s story and the Release Letter, you’ll understand why we’ve been cautioning everyone to be extremely careful of signing anything from these people without close scrutiny and advice. continue reading »

Duerson Apparently Did Not Review Andrew Stewart NFL Disability Claim

Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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Published September 10th, 2011
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On August 16, FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez broke the story of a lawsuit against the National Football League’s Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retirement Plan, in federal court in Maryland, by retired player Andrew Stewart. I discussed the case on my Concussion Blog – click HERE.
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The premise of Marvez’s piece aligned with an important investigative angle of this blog: that the Stewart suit might reveal more about the work on the disability claims review board of Dave Duerson. But it turns out that, while Stewart’s attorneys have made a lot of progress in getting scrutiny in open court of the board’s inner workings – a very good thing – Duerson himself did not participate in the deliberations of Stewart’s particular case in August of last year.
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The three NFL Players Association representatives on the board for Stewart’s review were Andre Collins, Robert Smith, and Jeff Van Note. “I do not know why Duerson was not on the Board that day,” Stewart attorney Michael Rosenthal e-mailed me.
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According to John Hogan, who represents many retired players from his disability law practice in Georgia, retirement board members occasionally designate others as proxies, and that is probably what happened here. The whole process is mysterious and secretive, which is why we need the drip-drip-drip of additional cases to break down the NFL and NFLPA’s limestone wall. (The judge in the Stewart case has set a trial date, though he has not yet ruled on whether to permit live testimony. But the court seems to be leaning that way.)
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As I’ve said many times, perhaps the most tumultuous litigation for the football-concussion system isn’t by professionals. Rather, it involves youth athletes and the financial exposure of public schools for disabling injury and wrongful death. Without tackle football mania at the grassroots, the $10-billion-a-year NFL cannot recruit, inculcate, and thrive. We already know of one lawsuit in New Jersey by the family of a kid who died from a second concussion after being cleared to return to play – with the help of NFL and World Wrestling Entertainment witch doctor Joseph Maroon’s “ImPACT concussion management” software.
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Irvin Muchnick is author of CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death (2009) and WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal (2007). He is a widely published magazine journalist and has appeared on forums as diverse as Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor,” National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” and ESPN’s “Up Close.” Muchnick is lead respondent in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case for freelance writers’ rights, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick.
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BeyondChron contributor Irvin Muchnick has launched his new website and blog “Concussion Inc.”. You can also find Irv on Twitter at http://twitter.com/irvmuch.
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Gentlemen of the NFLPA

(Messrs. DeMaurice Smith, Andre Collins and Nolan Harrison III),

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We just finally managed to download and convert a copy of the entire 637-page NFLPA 2009 LM-2 that was officially filed with the Dept. of Labor on May 28, 2010. It’s another big one!

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Most of you have been following our recent coverage on the missing Severance Pay that more and more retired players have come to realize that they’ve never received. The NFLPA has just put together an outline of steps that former players can follow on Severance Pay. Andre Collins, Director for Player Benefits, submitted these instructions this morning.

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Before everyone and their brother jumps in to try and take credit for it, DeMaurice Smith and his crew have been working with the NFL to protect retired players’ disability benefits during a potential lockout in 2010. So De Smith was right – without the express agreement of the NFL, retired players’ benefits could have been severely impacted by a lockout.

AAA

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Waiting and Waiting...
After what seems like an eternity, Manett Phelps & Phillips and McKool Smith filed Motions in the Parrish, Adderley, Roberts vs. the NFLPA/Players Inc. class action lawsuit late last week for final review and court approval on August 20, 2009 by Judge Alsup. The documents just became available online so we’ve loaded them up on DocStoc once again for easier viewing and searching. The main part of the Motion outlines the basics of the case and subsequent settlement. The Exhibits outline the payment plan and schedules with the first payment scheduled for July 13, 2009 (they’ll miss that one!) and the second set for June 5, 2010.

It’s always interesting digging into the details: Turns out the settlement will be managed and distributed by Garden City Group which just happens to be right here in Seattle. Half of the funds (around $13 million) were placed into escrow on July 13th, the day this Motion was apparently filed. And then barring no problems, the balance will be placed into escrow on June 5, 2010 for distribution shortly after that. Another interesting detail from Page 7 of Exhibit 1: Players who elected to Opt-Out John Baker, Richard Yelvington, Lynn Chandnois, John Demarie, Dan Goich, Daniel Direnzo, James “Scottie” Graham, Deacon Jones, Steve Largent, Brig Owens, Ben Pucci, Donald Testerman and Andre Collins were all excluded from suit.

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