Alex Marvez, senior pro football writer for FoxSports.com, reports that a federal judge in Maryland has set a February 27, 2012, trial date in retired National Football League player Andrew Stewart’s lawsuit against the Bert Bell / Pete Rozelle NFL Retirement Plan. See http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl-retired-players-injury-claim-court-date-set-091511.
Marvez’s story today notes that, as this blog has reported – and in contrast to the strong suggestion of the collective NFL statements to him for last month’s FoxSports.com coverage of the Stewart case – “Dave Duerson didn’t vote upon Stewart’s claim as initially believed. Duerson – a star NFL safety who committed suicide in February — was one of the NFL Players Association’s three trustee appointees on the board. The other three were appointed by the NFL.”
This trial, the story says, “could reveal some of the NFL’s retirement program’s secretive inner workings.”
Marvez says a proxy “is believed” to have taken Duerson’s spot at the August 18, 2010, meeting of the board in Boston, where Stewart’s disability claim was reviewed and unanimously rejected. From my reporting, I think it’s pretty clear that that proxy was Andre Collins.
NFL lawyer Douglas Ell “declined comment to FoxSports.com.”
Interestingly, Ell has filed a motion to remand the case to re-review by the NFL board. I support some kind of re-review of all Duerson-tainted cases. Stewart’s attorney, Michael Rosenthal, however, opposes the motion – apparently because he feels, no doubt correctly, that at this point his client would get a fairer shake in a court of law than through a process now so despised and distrusted by many in the NFL retiree community.