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Ex-Saints LB Fujita Not Sure Concussion Settlement Good News

Former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita said he's "not so sure" last week's settlement over a consolidated concussion lawsuit between 4,500 former players and the National Football League was either good news or a win-win situation for the league and its alumni.

In an essay published Monday by the New York Times, Fujita said he expected a settlement. "What I didn't expect," he wrote, "was to feel so oddly conflicted about it."

Fujita, who retired earlier this year by signing a one-day contract with the Saints, said he was approached about joining the suit, but elected not to.

He also challenged the credibility of Dr. Elliot Pellman, who has served as chairman of the NFL's research committee on concussions. As a result of the settlement, "former players will not even get to ask questions of someone" like Pellman, Fujita wrote.

"Pellman had no real background in neurology, which is not a great starting point, and he once claimed to have a medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook when, in fact, he attended medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico," said Fujita. "His performance dealing with the issue ... has been less than stellar. Indeed, it is troubling that Pellman continues to be even tangentially connected to the league."

Fujita added that it's hard to decide who might have won in this settlement.

"These deals are complicated and multilayered, and they affect everybody differently," he wrote. "It's easy to feel conflicted. And it's not always easy to declare a winner or a loser."

 

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