The family of former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson filed an objection to the NFL concussion settlement, reports ESPN.com’s Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.
NFL players had until midnight Tuesday to opt out of the proposed settlement between the league and more than 5,000 ex-players who say the NFL hid the dangers of head injuries.
Duerson committed suicide in February 2011 after shooting himself in the chest. He was 50 years old. A later examination determined that Duerson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which, according to Boston University, is a generative brain disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.
Last month, the family of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau also rejected the NFL’s concussion settlement saying they will pursue a lawsuit against the NFL.
Duerson’s family says the NFL’s deal is unfair for trying to limit payouts to those who have CTE.
"Duerson did not kill himself for CTE to be forever eviscerated from the NFL's lexicon," wrote attorney Bill Gibbs of Corboy & Demetrio. "The proposed settlement is an insult to his legacy. ... The NFL's denial continues."
Attorneys for nine other former players and Duerson say it "disenfranchises the families who will inevitably suffer the horrific ramifications of CTE" by not compensating players who are diagnosed with the disease after July 7.
That's the same date that the NFL and former players agreed to a proposed $765 million settlement of player concussion claims, which received preliminary approval from U.S. District Judge Anita Brody.
A court administrator will announce how many former players have opted out of the deal by Nov. 3, and those players who have concerns about the proposed settlement can attend a fairness hearing Nov. 19 in Philadelphia.
- Scooby Axson