On May 5, 2016, the parties filed a Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Second Amended Class Settlement (the “Motion”).
The Motion moved for the court to approve the Second Amended Class Action Settlement Agreement (the “Second Amended Settlement”). The Second Amended Settlement made almost all of the changes that the court suggested in its January 26, 2016 Memorandum Opinion, with the exception of one: the release of class-wide claims for personal injury. The parties refused to follow this directive because they contended that a single-school, multi-sport bodily injury class would not be certified under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Instead, the parties moved for the court to approve the release of personal injury claims brought on a class-wide basis, other than claims pursued on behalf of persons who allege personal injuries resulting from their participation in a single NCAA-sanctioned sport at a single NCAA-member school relating to concussive or sub-concussive hits.
On July 14, 2016, the court preliminarily approved the Second Amended Class Settlement and conditionally certified the classes. On July 15, 2016, the court issued its Memorandum Opinion explaining that the release of class-wide bodily injury claims would not extend to those cases where the class is composed of current or former student athletes of a single sport at a single NCAA-affiliated school. Rather, the Memorandum Opinion explained that the release of claims would apply to cases where the class consists of current or former student-athletes from more than one sport at a single school. Said another way, the new and approved settlement would allow members of a football team from a single NCAA school to sue the NCAA (as well as its affiliates) on a class-wide basis to recover damages based on bodily injury claims; however, a class consisting of members from both the football team and the hockey team from that school would not be allowed to sue the NCAA.
Stay tuned for more upcoming blogs about the progression of the litigation against the NCAA. To learn more about Circelli, Walter & Young, PLLC, please visit http://www.cwylaw.com/.