7 key stages of a Class Action Settlement

Dear Alumni:

With all the Class Action lawsuits that have been filed by former players, I thought it might be beneficial for everyone to understand the 7 key stages of a typical Class Action Settlement. Here they are:


Class action settlement negotiations frequently involve multiple parties and law firms struggling to satisfy competing interests. The court will scrutinize the negotiating process and consider the motivations and interests of the parties and counsel as part of its evaluation of the settlement.


Once a class action settlement is negotiated and agreed on, the parties make a motion to the court requesting preliminary approval of the settlement.


At the preliminary approval hearing, the court reviews the proposed settlement and makes an initial determination as to whether the terms are fair, reasonable and adequate.


If the court grants preliminary approval, it directs the preparation of notice to proposed class members and sets a date for the final approval and fairness hearing. Notice must be provided in a “reasonable” manner.


During the notice period, proposed class members may opt out of the settlement or file objections to the settlement with the court.


The court conducts a final fairness hearing to determine whether it should approve the settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate. The court must evaluate the settlement as a whole, rather than assessing its individual components. Although the settlement must be filed with the court, the parties may petition the court to keep certain terms of the settlement agreement confidential, including side agreements, if necessary.


A claims administrator manages the day-to-day operation of the settlement fund, including processing claims and disbursing awards. Leftover funds are often used for creating cy pres awards to charitable organizations that have a nexus to the class action dispute.

If you are having trouble sleeping, you can always read the entire document “Settling Class Actions” at this link: Settling Class Actions

Your alumni brother,

Jeff Nixon


About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on November 15, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you for all the work you do for us retired guys. Very informative on how this process works.

    Scott Kozak (Houston Oilers 89′ – 93′ )

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I have a question. if the final settlement has been approved, what would happen if the person who didn’t do anything regarding the class action settlement, did not submit for a reinstatement or receive the benefits? So does it just go back to the people that would want it? Would it be a problem later if the person does not want to take the benefits?

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