What Does The NFL’s Historic Concussion Settlement Mean?
Last week, a federal judge approved a $1-billion, 65-year settlement between the National Football League and more than 5,000 former players who had sued the league alleging they had suffered various medical conditions related to concussions sustained during their careers.
Although the agreement was reached in August 2013, it has been tweaked from both sides.
The final version was approved last week.
So, how is the new agreement different from the original one?
Apparently, the new agreement has more money available for players, especially retired players.
There is also more clarity with regard to the methods that will be used to determine how much each player gets. That would depend on how much disability or adverse health effects the retired player can show.
For example, players with more serious neurological diseases will likely get more than others who may not have suffered similar ailments.
One concern many still have about the agreement is that it may shortchange players affected by chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in football players because of repetitive brain trauma, especially concussions.
This is because of the challenges involved in showing it exists and how it is linked to the athlete’s football career.
About 200 players have opted out of the settlement, most likely because the money is not sufficient to cover their high medical costs.
Others believe that the NFL should be held accountable and that a settlement is a way for the league to evade taking full responsibility.
It is likely that the settlement announced last week will be appealed by some who are not satisfied by it.
Living with Brain Damage
About 2.4 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury in the United States each year.
Depending on the nature and extent of the injury, individuals with brain injuries can experience physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral changes.
Brain damage is often catastrophic, which means the adverse effects are felt permanently by the person who suffers it.
As California brain injury attorneys who represent the rights of victims and their families, we hope the football players and their families get the justice they rightfully deserve and that the NFL is held accountable.