Judge says loan scheme targeting concussed NFL players had interest rates as high as 50%; an ‘unfortunate’ situation, says Kathryn Honecker, chair of the Class Action Department



She voids repayment obligations

By Ken Belson | The New York Times

United States District Court Judge Anita Brody voided questionable loans to former N.F.L. players whose cognitive impairment may have inhibited their ability to understand the terms. Credit U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, via Associated Press

A group of former pro football players with cognitive impairment who took out tens of thousands of dollars in high-interest loans against their expected payments in the N.F.L. concussion settlement may not have to pay their lenders back.

The federal judge overseeing the settlement, worth an estimated $1 billion, on Friday voided all contracts with lenders who were supposed to be repaid when the players receive cash awards for their severe neurological and cognitive problems.

“It’s unfortunate that some would seek to profit by taking advantage of a vulnerable group of individuals, like these former NFL players who, by definition, will only recover money under the settlement if they are cognitatively impaired. In any class action, the attorneys representing the class and the court have a fiduciary duty to the class members — here the former NFL players.  I’m glad to see that the attorneys representing the class and the court both took action to protect these players from potential exploitation.”

~ Kathryn Honecker



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