Dan Marino might not be suing the NFL over concussions after all.
According to a report Tuesday by Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback intends to withdraw from a lawsuit against the league for concussions.
“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,” the unnamed source told the newspaper. “They are working to correct the error.”
A proposed $765-million settlement between the league and more than 5,000 retired players was negotiated about nine months ago but has yet to be approved by U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, who has asked for more documentation to prove that the amount is sufficient to provide compensation for all the injured parties.
Regardless of whether Marino is a named plaintiff, he’s eligible to receive money and/or treatment for any concussion damage he might have suffered. The only way he would be ineligible is if he were to opt out of the settlement.
ProFootballTalk founder Mike Florio has theorized that the lawsuit by Marino — first reported by The Times’ Nathan Fenno — could indicate a belief that an approval of the settlement is on the horizon.
Marino’s lawsuit was filed last week by Sol Weiss, among the primary lawyers representing all of the concussion plaintiffs. Florio suggested the late addition of Marino and 15 other former players could be a shrewd tactical move by Weiss.
“By adding 16 players to his total roster of concussion clients, Weiss could be in position to claim a larger slice of the award of attorney’s fees, when the time comes for lawyers to carve up the total pie of attorney’s fees,” wrote Florio, also a lawyer. “Thus, a fair interpretation of the events could be that Weiss knows (or at least senses) something about the looming approval of the settlement, and that he expects the motion for preliminary approval to be granted sooner rather than later.”
According to the Sun Sentinel, Marino and his lawyers are attempting to discover how the quarterback’s name was joined to the lawsuit. He previously said he had two reported concussions in his 17-year career.