Judge Brody issues order prohibiting Class Members from assigning monetary awards to third-party funders
Over two years ago, I warned former players about certain businesses that were promising up-front payments in exchange for assigning their NFL Concussion Settlement monetary awards over to them. In my article: Former NFL players being solicited for pre-payments on concussion settlement awards, I said “While we are all waiting for the appeals of the NFL Concussion Settlement to run their course, I wanted to alert you to the fact that there are some businesses that are soliciting former players and telling them they can receive a portion of their expected settlement award now - in return for less money when the actual awards become available. My advice – don’t do it!”
Judge Brody just put an end to this deceptive practice.
On Friday, December 8, 2017 she issued an order that prohibits NFL Concussion Settlement Class Members from assigning, or attempting to assign, any monetary claims. Additionally, for any player that has already entered into a contract, that assignment is void, invalid and of no force and effect.
In her order, Judge Brody said “Class Members receiving awards are, by definition, cognitively impaired. A Third-Party funder entering an agreement with a Class Member would obviously know that simple fact. Additionally, the anti-assignment language in the Settlement Agreement clearly states the intent that Class Members are unable to make assignments. Thus, the Court has little sympathy for a Third-Party Funder that will not receive a return on its “investment.” Nevertheless, under the principle of rescission, Class Members should return to the Third-Party Funder the amount already paid to them. Accordingly, if the Third-Party Funder is willing to accept rescission and execute an assignment or attempted assignment, then the Claims Administrator will be authorized to withhold—from the Class Member’s monetary award—the amount already paid to the Class Member under the agreement and return it to the Third-Party Funder.”
Former players that entered into one of these Third-Party funder agreements and received a monetary award, will now be entitled to receive the entire award, minus the money they originally received from the Third-Party funder.
It’s important to note that this may not have happened without the aggressive stance taken by our co-counsel, Chis Seeger and Sol Weiss. Here is a September article that details the work they did leading up to the Judge’s ruling: NFL concussion victims hit with "deceptive practices"
This court order could be appealed to the 3rd Circuit, but for now, it stands.