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!

A New Lawsuit to Follow

20 January 2013

We uploaded a 78-page copy of this recent Wrongful Termination to Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):

Jon T. King vs Hausfeld LLP

continue reading »

Early Withdrawal?

13 December 2012

Apparently, Hausfeld LLP has formally filed to withdraw from representing SOME of the lead plaintiffs in a class but he still wants to stay directly involved by representing the other plaintiffs (can you actually do that?!!). Then the presiding judge issued a Scheduling Order that appoints Dan Gustafson of Gustafson Gluek PLLC as Lead Settlement Counsel to represent the “class” without a further hearing or discussion. So if there is a class of retired football players being acknowledged, then why is there a gag order? Does this mean that your case can be settled without your approval?
.
We’ve just uploaded a copy of a new Notice of Withdrawal filed on Wednesday by Hausfeld LLP along with the Judge’s latest order to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):
.
Hausfeld Notice of Withdrawal
.
USDC Minnesota Dec 12 2012 Scheduling Order – Dryer vs NFL
.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this first-hand report from retired player, Bob Lurtsema, who was one of the “uninvited players” who showed up last week along with Bob Stein and many of the Plaintiffs in the NFL Films lawsuit Status Conference. Each and every retired player needs to read Bob’s words of caution closely and send in their comments.
.

Fellow retired players -
.
I attended the court-ordered Status Conference in the Dryer v. NFL case on November 27 in Minneapolis to see what was up. What I saw was an attempted sell-out and ambush by the NFL and Michael Hausfeld to force Bob Stein and the original Plaintiffs to accept the NFL’s offer. The NFL and Hausfeld tried to pit players against players.
.
Hausfeld brought along 10 or so non-Plaintiff retired players to support him. They were part of a secret group he organized to try to control the Dryer lawsuit payments. We discovered that one guy they brought in had never even been an NFL player! He paid for their travel but refused to pay for the original Plaintiffs’ travel as required by his retainer agreements with them.
.
The original Plaintiffs who started the case were not even allowed in Hausfeld’s player meeting. When all the plaintiff attorneys met with all the players there, I was surprised the Magistrate openly pushed for the NFL deal (a very low offer of $50 million total), cut off Bob Stein who pointed out major shortcomings to the deal and then let Hausfeld ramble on to try and sell it. Right after that meeting, Hausfeld rushed out to confer with the NFL lawyers.
.
The NFL-Hausfeld proposal, opposed by all original Plaintiffs (Fred Dryer, Jim Marshall, Joe Senser, Dan Pastorini, Elvin Bethea, Ed White) and Bob Stein, stunk to me. Under the NFL-Hausfeld proposal, NO player would be paid for using his rights …ever! Each retired player would give up all his NFL-related publicity rights forever and any money would only go to the neediest of player charity programs. The only ones getting paid are the lawyers!
.
The proposal didn’t even have a guaranteed payment amount since all costs of opt-out player lawsuits against the NFL will be paid out of the settlement money! A very small group of players (Hausfeld’s?) would also be put in control of where the money goes. All of us would have to release our publicity rights (pictures, film of play, autographs) forever – and except for possible charity payments – will get paid nothing in the future. The Licensing Agency it set up looks just like the NFL Alumni Program – which LOST $5 million. So I don’t see what we’re getting for giving up claims to what Stein described as “the multi-billion dollar NFL Films vault” and over $150 million/year the NFL makes from using us in NFL Films.
.
The NFL-Hausfeld proposal will pay $42 million (after $8 million in legal fees are paid) over 12 years, with all of it going only to charity programs. That amounts to under $15/month for each of the 20,000+ players whose rights would also be signed away. Of course, the lawyers would get paid $8 million up front immediately. Looks to me like each of us will gain absolutely nothing from the NFL-Hausfeld settlement and only the NFL and the lawyers win. No wonder Bob Stein and all the original Plaintiffs think it’s an inadequate deal. After all, over those 12 years when the NFL would be paying out about $3.5 million a year, they would make over $1.8 billion using us in NFL Films! After that, they would then pay nothing more and use our rights forever!
.
Bob Stein and the original Plaintiffs all want a deal where every player who gives up his rights forever knows in advance what he would personally get for it, either in dollars or health care benefits …and that it should be enough to mean something.
.
I didn’t know why other players besides the Plaintiffs were there but it seemed they were trying to set up the illusion of a “support vote” from guys who were not even Plaintiffs, all without opening the meeting to ALL retired players, just to pressure the original Plaintiffs to go along. Other retired players did not even know about this Status Conference and I only heard about it at the last minute. Hausfeld’s guys were mostly for the deal but ALL the original Plaintiffs and Stein opposed it. I still don’t see the point of the Status Conference but I do see the NFL-Hausfeld deal as bogus and completely one-sided.
.
I am against accepting it and wanted all of you to know why. But it should be your own call to make.
.
Bob Lurtsema
Baltimore Colts, New York Giants
Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks
1967 – 1977
.

.

Dan Pastorini: New Lawsuit

24 November 2012

We were just informed of a lawsuit/complaint recently filed by Dan Pastorini (1971 – 1983: Oilers, Raiders, Rams, Eagles) in Minnesota (requesting to be heard in Texas) against attorney Michael Hausfeld and his firm, Hausfeld LLP, for “breach of contract, legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” We obtained a copy of the suit from public records.
.
We’ve uploaded a copy of the lawsuit to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):
.
Pastorini Breach of Contract and Malpractice Suit vs Hausfeld LLP
.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this e-mail from Fred Dryer, lead plaintiff in the Dryer vs NFL (Films) lawsuit. Once again, we’re simply posting it in its entirety as requested by a retired player.
.
Dear Michael:
.
It has come to my attention through conversations with Elvin Bethea that you said I have agreed to be part of the leadership of a group you are now organizing. It is my understanding that you intend to do this with the plaintiffs’ recovery money from DRYER V NFL rather than distributing those proceeds directly to the players themselves.
.
Michael, I do not know how you have come to this determination but you and I know that this is absolutely not true.
.
At the present time, you and your law firm are supposed to be representing me in the DRYER V NFL class action lawsuit. As one of the six original plaintiffs and the so-called “point man” in the case, I have had the opportunity to watch and listen very carefully to your tact and the suggested course of action you want to take us.
.
Knowing you as I do now, it is no surprise to me that you would misrepresent facts and the truth in order to manipulate a specific outcome.
.
I am hereby requesting that you immediately stop telling my NFL brethren that you and I are in any way connected to anything outside of our present duties in DRYER V NFL. I will also be submitting this communication directly to my NFL network so my position is made clear to everyone in no uncertain terms.
.
Thank You
.
Fred Dryer
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this comment along with the attached e-mails from Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea (Houston Oilers 1968 – 1983) requesting that we post this on Dave’s Blog. While we do not wish to take one side or another, after much discussion with several other players, we felt it was best to simply post the communications in their entirety in the interest of transparency.
.
Many attorneys want to represent us right now. The question is… who can we trust? I want other players to know that my name has been misused without my permission. Attached are two recent e-mails I had sent to attorney Michael Hausfeld. About ten (10) days after I sent the second e-mail, I finally received a call from Michael Hausfeld. He did not apologize and he did not agree to the retraction that I had requested in my e-mails to him.
.
In the conversation with Michael Hausfeld, he also told me that Fred Dryer was joining a board that he was currently organizing. I called Fred to ask if this was true; Fred said that he had no knowledge of the Board or a Committee and that he had not even spoken with Hausfeld about it.
.
I did not know where else to turn for advice on what I can do to have my name removed from that letter to the AFL/CIO. So I contacted my friends at Dave Pear’s Blog to see if they would kindly post my unanswered requests.
.
All this to say again …Who can we trust?
.
Elvin Bethea
.

.

.

.
Houston Oilers
1968 – 1983
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

More news on the battle against the NFLPA. Hausfeld LLP issued a public statement on behalf of retired football players to Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, stating the case for the expulsion of the NFL Players Association from the AFL-CIO. We’re also including the 10-page letter that was sent to Mr. Trumka detailing how the NFLPA has consistently broken with true Union tradition and principles in the treatment of its retirees as a normal way of doing business.
.

Retired NFL Players Request AFL-CIO Expel NFLPA

continue reading »

For a normally quiet time in the off-season, there’s a lot going on. Concussion lawsuits continue to be filed and the latest count indicates there may be over 3,000 retired football players who have filed suits against the NFL to date. We also understand that there may be a possible Statute of Limitation deadline coming up shortly and strongly urge that you get signed up with one of the firms soon if you haven’t done so already.
.
Let’s start with a Washington Post article on the concussion lawsuits that featured Dr. Daniel Amen:
.

NFL concussions lawsuits aim to improve the damaged brain

continue reading »

Happy Holidays, Football and Sports Concussion Establishment: 2012 Is the Year of the Tobacco-Style Lawsuit

Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick from his blog Concussion Inc.:

Published December 26th, 2011.

continue reading »

We now have a publicly available copy of the Settlement Agreement details and the subsequent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) made when the CBA was ratified. The individual active players (Brady et al) agreed to drop their suits that were filed against the NFL when the Union decertified during the lockout. We’re posting this for weekend reading and look forward to your comments and observations. Note that it was Jeffrey Kessler who filed this without any seal.
.
We’ve uploaded the entire 201-page document to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close):
.
Brady Settlement for 2011 NFL/NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement
.

Here’s a yearend update from Hausfeld LLP and Zelle Hofmann including articles from disability attorney John Hogan and George Visger.
.
We’ve uploaded their newsletter to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close):
.
The Voice – NFL Retiree Newsletter, Vol 1, Issue 2
.

NFLPA 2012 Florida Convention

The NFLPA just announced their 2012 convention to be held once again at the Marco Island Marriott in Florida next March. Retired players are also invited to actually mingle with active players for $250 a night! Lots of golf, fine dining and everything else… except talking about the real issues that retired players actually need to have addressed.
.
So with all the lawyers that work over at the NFLPA, it seems that the only thing that gets their attention is another good lawsuit. Today, the attorneys in the earlier Eller suit – Hausfeld LLP, Zelle Hofmann, Arthur N. Bailey & Associates, Coburn & Greenbaum – filed another class action suit on behalf of retired players against the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, Tom Brady and Mike Vrabel. The new suit includes a new list of players – Dave is included as one of the named plaintiffs – along with an additional list of key issues that the PA will need to address.
.
We’ve uploaded a copy of the new 44-page Lawsuit to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close):
.
Gault McElhenney Brown Et Al v NFLPA
.
.

Over the weekend, the retired players and the attorneys involved with the Eller et al vs. NFL et al class action lawsuit released a letter addressed to all retirees to outline a call for unity as well as to provide an update on the facts and actions to date.
.
Dear fellow retired players,
.
We have been asked by many of our fellow retired National Football League (“NFL”) players to provide more information about what the Eller v. NFL lawsuit is meant to accomplish and how the lawsuit will help benefit all retired NFL players. What follows is our attempt to do so.
.
On March 28, 2011 the national law firms of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP and Hausfeld, LLP, filed a class action on behalf of all retired NFL players against the NFL in federal court in the District of Minnesota to bring about wholesale improvements of the NFL player retirement system.
.
This lawsuit came after the CBA negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA broke down, the Union decertified and the League subsequently locked the players out. The complaint seeks to do for retired players what the Reggie White class action lawsuit did for current players in the early 1990’s: create an organization and system whereby retired NFL players are able to advocate on their own behalf and therefore vastly improve the current landscape of the NFL retirement system. This class action – known as Eller et al., v. NFL – was consolidated with the class action on behalf of current players called Brady, et al vs. NFL. (Consolidated simply means that the cases are heard together and the NFL is better positioned to try and resolve both cases simultaneously – although the retired players are asking for and addressing different issues than the current players.)
.
Recently, the largest collective group of representatives of various organizations for retired players or who have mass online audience met in Minneapolis. The group included representatives and/or members from the NFLPA, NFL Alumni, the Retired Players Association, Fourth & Goal, Gridiron Greats, Dignity after Football and DavePear.com/Independent Football Veterans. Most of the participants agreed to present the League with united proposals for changes in key areas affecting the well-being of retired players:

  • (a)    pensions;
  • (b)   disability benefits;
  • (c)    medical benefits;
  • (d)   medical monitoring; and
  • (e)    vesting calculations.

continue reading »

On April 4th, representatives of the National Football League acknowledged the need to provide “important improvements in retired player benefits.” They stated it was the “fair” and “right” thing to do in “respect” and “recognition” of their contributions to the game. The League said the retirees “voice” needs to be heard.
.
On May 25th, the largest collective group of representatives of retired NFL Players ever assembled met a second time to reach a consensus on a series of united proposals for these needed improvements.
.
The League has said that everyone needs to “focus on negotiations” because “there is a deal to be made.” We agree. The retirees therefore unanimously agreed to submit to the League a detailed framework for changes in retiree pensions, medical coverage and benefits, and disability programs. The framework will also include a component of medical monitoring for retirees that is designed to detect or prevent illness or disease at its earliest stages and provide for timely treatment.
.
The retirees invite the League to be available for meetings beginning as early as Tuesday, May 31, to discuss this framework, exchange ideas and comments, and be best prepared to reach resolution when mediation formally resumes on June 7th and 8th in Minneapolis.
.
As expressed in the April 4th letter from the League to the retirees, the League wished to hear the “voice” of the retirees. We are speaking. It’s now time for the League to listen.
.
Any questions concerning this press release should be directed to Michael Hausfeld at Hausfeld LLP (202) 540-7200 or Daniel Mason, Mark Feinberg, or Shawn D. Stuckey at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason (612) 336-9100.
.

Retired NFL Players’ Representatives’ Unite!
.

The largest collective group of representatives for retired NFL players ever assembled met yesterday in Minneapolis, Minnesota and agreed to unanimously support the class action litigation brought by retired NFL players against the League and its member clubs. That lawsuit is now pending before Judge Susan Nelson in federal court in Minneapolis.
.
Among those present were:
. continue reading »