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Marino To Withdraw NFL Concussion Lawsuit, But Wants Protection Against Future Health Issues

Marino To Withdraw NFL Concussion Lawsuit, But Wants Protection Against Future Health Issues

Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino’s entry into the NFL concussion-related lawsuit arena on May 28 created buzz.

And that buzz, according to Darren Heitner, Founder and Chief Editor of Sports Agent Blog, could be his most important contribution.

On Tuesday, Heitner told Benzinga the inclusion of Marino in the pending concussion litigation “adds a recognizable name to the lawsuits that have been stalled as a pending preliminary settlement awaits final approval or disapproval from the judge.”

Later on Tuesday, Marino said filing the lawsuit was an “accident.” A source told the Sun Sentinel, “It was never Marino's intention to initiate litigation in this case, but to ensure that in the event he had adverse health consequences down the road, he would be covered with health benefits. They are working to correct the error."

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Whether or not Marino stays in the lawsuit  might not matter. According to Heitner, “It does not change the claims of the plaintiffs or the applicable defenses for the NFL. It mostly serves to shine a glaring light on the lawsuits that have been stalled and somewhat forgotten by the general public.”

The preliminary settlement, agreed to last August and rejected by federal judge Anita B. Brody in January, provided $765 million to compensate injured players. The combination of narrow qualification restrictions and an inadequate compensation “purse” drove justice Brody’s decision to reject the deal.

Heitner pointed out some observers believed that, since Marino was using the same attorney “leading the charge for many existing plaintiffs,” it might signal an approaching decision by the court.

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Marino’s planned withdrawal from the lawsuit would not affect the action of 14 other former NFL players, whose names appeared with Marino’s in the latest filing. The new lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania, was similar to the previous suits and accused the NFL of "carelessness, negligence” and “intentional misconduct" regarding concussions, according to USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL has maintained that it did not conceal information related to potential head or brain injuries because of playing in the league. According to the lawsuit, the league knew about concussion-related injuries as early as the early 1970s.

Hall of Famers who have filed concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL include Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Bob Little, Randy White and the estate of the late Lee Roy Selmon.

Marino’s inclusion, even for a brief period, commanded special attention. That was partly because he spent his entire 17 year NFL career on one team, the Miami Dolphins, and because of his stature among NFL quarterbacks.

Only four others – Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and John Elway -- have more wins as a starting QB.

Heitner, noting the number of injured players filing suit was growing, said, “If there is one thing to gather from Marino's inclusion it is that the concussion-related claims continue to mount and the players, including many Hall of Famers, demand action.”

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Posted-In: Benzinga Brett Favre Darren HeitnerNews Topics Events Media General Best of Benzinga


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