Judge Anita B. Brody has brought the lawsuit against the NFL by players to a conclusion. Of course, there could be an appeal, but pending that action the NFL could be soon settling claims filed by retired players. The original deal offered by the NFL was $675 million with players needing to demonstrate a connection between pro-football related concussions and their disabling conditions. Under the new deal, players will not have to document any concussions to be eligible for payment and all retired players are eligible, except for those who “opted out”. Lawyers for the players have said that “the settlement is favorable”.
The evidence continues to mount about the long-term problems caused by multiple sports concussions. Research into Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE provides evidence of the changes in the brains of athletes which occurs over the course of time.
For those of us who work with individuals living with brain injury disabilities we recognize that the cost of care, rehabilitation and treatment can be significant. A 2007 study put the lifetime costs of brain injury for a young person over the course of their lifetime at over $17 million.
Will the NFL settlement address the true costs of a lifetime of brain injury? At this point, we are waiting for answers.