NFL Agrees to Uncap Funds in Revised NFL Concussion Lawsuit Settlement
The National Football League (NFL) and counsel for the retired NFL players that sued the league for personal injury have come to a settlement agreement in its ongoing NFL concussion lawsuit settlement.
Players claimed that the NFL disregarded safety measures and pressured players with head injuries to continue playing, which led many players to long-term concussion injuries such as depression and encephalitis. In August last year, the NFL offered a preliminary settlement amount of $765 million for retired football players suffering from a specific type of brain condition related to repeated concussions sustained while they played professional football; the amount set aside $5 million per injured player, based on specific concussion-related brain injury diagnosis.
However, on January 13th, US District Judge Anita B. Brody rejected the proposed settlement, because both the National Football League and the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that the sum was enough to cover medical expenses for all affected retired players – a number which could reach 20,000 claimants.
“In light of my duty to protect the rights of all potential class members and the insufficiency of the current record, I will deny the Motion without prejudice,” Brody wrote in her 14-page opinion, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Now, the NFL has agreed to uncap the settlement amount and simply treat each former NFL player whose concussion injuries fall into specific diagnoses.
“This agreement will give retired players and their families immediate help if they suffer from a qualifying neurocognitive illness, and provide peace of mind to those who fear they may develop a condition in the future,” said co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss. “This settlement guarantees that these benefits will be there if needed, and does so without years of litigation that may have left many retired players without any recourse.”
“Today’s agreement reaffirms the NFL’s commitment to provide help to those retired players and their families who are in need, and to do so without the delay, expense and emotional cost associated with protracted litigation. We are eager to move forward with the process of court approval and implementation of the settlement,” said NFL Senior Vice President Anastasia Danias.
The NFL Concussion Lawsuit settlement agreement, announced on Wednesday, June 25th, also stipulates that the NFL will set aside $10 million for concussion education and prevention, as well as pay the costs of administration of the settlement.
Funds from the concussion lawsuit settlement will be available to any player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition.
A great deal of research in the last few years has been devoted to the study of long-term effects of concussions on both children and adults, such as professional football players. Scientific medical research points to a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy – which can cause behavioral changes, including aggression and depression, as well as dementia – as one outcome of repeated concussion injury.
The Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a concussion after an automobile accident or injury from a defective product, it is not too late to get help. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer free consultations to discuss the incident that led to traumatic brain injury and determine if you have a personal injury case. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.