MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) — The name of an ex-football player at the center of a settlement dispute between former players and the National Football League (NFL) will likely come up again on Monday.
South Florida resident Shawn Wooden, who played for the Miami Dolphins during seven of his eight seasons in the league, is now considered an important advocate for retired players who have or may get dementia, A.L.S., among other severe illnesses, according to the New York Times.
About two years ago, attorneys representing 5,000 retirees filed the suit against the NFL claiming the organization hid the dangers of concussions. Wooden now represents those players who are healthy but have a higher risk of developing an illness.
On Monday his name may come up in court as dozens of objections are expected to be filed with the United States Court of Appeals, fighting against a settlement between the ex-players and the NFL.
The deal, approved by a Federal District Court Judge in April, could mean $1 billion or possibly more for ex-players with severe neurological diseases plus an unlimited amount for neuro-cognitive testing.
Players who are appealing the settlement argue that it’s unfair because it does not cover future diagnoses of a degenerative neurological condition that is linked to repeated hits to the head, called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The players are also wondering how eligibility for payments will be calculated.
Once the objections are filed, the NFL and lawyers who negotiated the settlement will have a month to respond. Once they respond, the appellants will have two weeks to file rebuttals. From there, a panel of three judges may hear oral arguments in the case as early as October but there is no time frame for them to make a ruling.
The panel may also push both parties toward a mediation.
As for the players, no payments will be made to them until all the appeals are resolved.