12th February 2018
On February 6, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee again delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement after he learned thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee expressed his frustration with the notification process, and he once again delayed finial approval given that nearly 13,000 class members have not yet learned about the case and its proposed settlement. The $75 million dollar settlement was initially approved by Judge Lee in July 2017. Seventy million of the settlement will go to a Medical Monitoring Program, which will help treat and monitor the estimated 4.4 million current and former NCAA student-athletes who took part in contact and non-contact sports. The remaining $5 million will go to concussion research, changes to the NCAA’s guidelines, and a limited release.
As previously covered, the suit began in 2011 when former Eastern Illinois player, Adrian Arrington, and three others, sued the NCAA because they suffered from seizures which were a byproduct of repeated head trauma. In November 2017, Judge Lee first delayed final approval of the settlement and stipulated an order that allowed class members to object or opt out of the settlement by January 16, 2018. He anticipated that the court administrator would file a revised declaration of completion by January 30, 2018. However, the court administrator notified another group of class members, who had yet to be notified of the case, the night before the deadline.
Also, the court administrator failed to pull all the information from a document that listed all of the class members. The attorney representing the player said, the court has not done a full audit of records despite offering assurances one was completed. The parties agreed that the court will conduct full audit and will notify the parties in writing about the status of the notification. Once the court can adequately determine that all members of the class have been properly notified of the suit, then it is likely that Judge Lee will approve the $75 million settlement and the suit will finally come to a conclusion.