Judge Brody Issues Unprecedented Ruling, Blocking Litigation Financing in NFL Concussion Case

Posted October 27, 2018
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A federal judge issues an unprecedented ruling by blocking litigation funding agreements in the NFL concussion case. The well-known case involves former NFL players who settled with the football league for $1b over concussion-related injuries they suffered over their careers. Plaintiffs went to litigation funders for financial assistance while waiting for their payouts. Litigation Finance Journal reports NFL class counsel has been seeking to block the deals, claiming funders have been preying on the cognitively impaired athletes by offering them loans at excessively high interest rates. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, in an unprecedented ruling, agreed and has apparently moved to void the loans, a move certain to be appealed by the lenders. According to the Litigation Finance Journal, the funders involved in the case, include Atlas Funding, RD Legal and Cash4Cases. NFL class counsel said the settlement agreement had anti-assignment language that barred those funding agreements from taking place. Litigation Finance Journal reports the funders argued that wasn’t true, because no interest in the plaintiffs’ claims were acquired, instead they purchased an interest in plaintiffs’ settlement payouts, which were not addressed in the anti-assignment clause of the lawsuit.