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NFL concussion settlement takes step toward finalization

As the National Football League post season continues toward the Super Bowl, the lawsuit involving the league and its treatment of player concussions throughout the decades is in the news again. This week, the settlement agreement reached between the league and retired football players, was submitted to a federal court located in Pennsylvania for approval. Before a judge can provide final approval, a fairness hearing will be held.

The lawsuit was filed by thousands of former players who suffered head injuries while playing the game. In it, the NFL was accused of negligence. The former players also asserted that the league did not tell players what it knew regarding problems that could arise as a result of repeated head injuries and concussions.

The settlement, worth a total of $914 million, breaks down this way:

  • $675 million for compensation of players who experienced certain injuries.
  • $75 million for medical tests.
  • $10 million for programs focused on injury prevention and player safety.
  • $4 million for administrative expenses.
  • $112.5 million for players' attorney's fees.
  • $37.5 million for players should it be needed.

The amount each player will receive depends on a variety of factors including the number of years spent in the league and their age. In addition, the former player must be diagnosed with CTE, Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or neurocognitive impairment resulting in memory loss. There are limits on the amount each player can receive based upon the diagnosis. Taking into account that new conditions could arise in the future, the list of qualifying conditions may be changed every 10 years or sooner. If both sides agree changes can take place at any time.

Brain injuries are suffered by individuals throughout the state of Pennsylvania regularly. One need not have played professional sports to seek monetary damages for the injury. Personal injury lawsuits may be filed against others whose negligence is to blame for the brain injury.

Source: The Morning Sun, "NFL's $914 million concussion deal submitted to federal court," Sophia Pearson, Jan. 8, 2014

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