Objection claims concussion settlement treats European players unfairly

By Jim Boyle | Oct 16, 2014

Severe head trauma suffered on a European football field is just as harmful and dangerous

as one felt in America, and the proposed concussion settlement should reflect that fact, according to an objection filed against the agreement between the National Football League and the class retired players seeking monetary damages for their long term injuries.

Former professional football quarterback Preston Jones, who played in the National Football League in both the U.S. and Europe, has filed an objection to the proposed settlement of the NFL’s concussion class action lawsuit, stating that the settlement unfairly and unjustly discriminates against former players of the NFL Europe league.

An All-American high school quarterback, Jones played his college ball at Georgia and then played for five years in the NFL, CFL and NFL Europe before retiring in 1997.  Most of his NFL league play was in the NFL Europe League.

According to the objection filed by the Newport Beach, Cali., law firm Capretz & Associates on behalf of Preston and Katherine Jones, Jones exhibits multiple neurocognitive symptoms linked to repetitive mild traumatic brain injury, including symptoms associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Claiming they are being treated unfairly, the Joneses “further and more specifically object to the proposed Settlement Agreement because it overwhelmingly favors certain Settlement Class Members to the great exclusion of others, for no discernible logical, legal, or medical reasons,” the Jones’ objection states.

The objection claims that the proposed Settlement Agreement, which is divided into two subclasses, “discriminates irrationally” among Class Members to the detriment of the Joneses and other players in their subclass.

“The dramatic differential treatment within the Settlement Class (both within and between the two curiously contrived Subclasses) lacks any coherent basis and renders the proposed Settlement Agreement unfair and unreasonable,” the objection says.

The objection further points out that because Jones spent most of his NFL career playing in its Europe League — which included being a starter for several years — he is regarded in the proposed Settlement Agreement as having not played any so-called “eligible seasons.”  Consequently, he automatically loses 97.5 percent of the monetary benefits promised by the proposed Settlement which could otherwise be as much as $4 million in survivor benefits.

“This is extraordinary, and makes no rational sense,” the objection argues. “The NFL originated and maintained ownership and control of its European league equivalent to its league in the United States. There is no evidence in the record, nor any reason to believe, that the effects of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury are less in magnitude or prevalence among NFL players who played in Europe versus in the United States.”

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