The NFL Concussion Settlement


by Art Hinshaw

ADR Prof Blog by Andrea Schneider, Michael Moffitt, Sarah Cole,Art Hinshaw, Jill Gross and Cynthia Alkon.

August 2013

Art Hinshaw

I haven’t had the time to review the terms of the NFL’s concussion settlement with former players, but I’ve heard a lot of news coverage of it. On the Valley’s two morning drive-time sports talk shows (one local, one national) there was a lot of talk about the settlement and judging of winners and losers. It was odd hearing discussions of the pros and cons of settlement in this forum, but I loved it. Who knew that people in the sports world could echo Owen Fiss (Against Settlement) and Carrie Menkel-Meadow (Whose Settlement Is It Anyway?) so well?

There was a thoughtful discussion with former NFL players about causation issues, waivers of claims for injuries against the league, and the dreaded free riders who could be compensated. On the other side a sports business analyst discussed the economic benefits for team owners. After his discussion of how the settlement is supposed to work, I couldn’t help but think of this as any other mass tort compensation system – workers compensation, injury vaccine fund, 9/11 Fund, etc. There was also serious criticism of the settlement from those who want transparency – what did the league know about concussions and when did they know it? – and from those who think the amount of money involved is way too low.

Here’s a straight news story of the settlement, here’s a good overview of the settlement and why it’s a win-win, here’s a story on why it’s a win for the NFL’s owners, here’s a piece on some players and agents who think it’s not enough, and here’s a Q & A with a legal analyst.

Finally, the mediator was California lawyer/mediator Layn R. Phillips, a former Federal District Judge. I bet his mediation calendar is filling up fast.

Hat Tip – Sean Nolon



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Biography




Art Hinshaw’s research and teaching interests lie in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), primarily mediation and negotiation. His research bridges ADR theory and practice, and his teaching responsibilities include the Lodestar Mediation Clinic and Negotiation among other ADR courses.

Professor Hinshaw is active in the ADR community having served on several academic and professional committees at the state and national levels. Currently, he serves as a member of the ABA's Standing Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance. Additionally, he is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law and is a contributor to Indisputably, the ADR Prof Blog.

Professor Hinshaw joined the College of Law faculty after teaching at the University of Missouri School of Law and at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Before his academic career, he practiced law in Kansas City, Missouri.



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Website: apps.law.asu.edu/Apps/Faculty/Faculty.aspx?individual_id=5328

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