Court Upholds The NFL’s Concussion Settlement While Seemingly Admitting Faults

Source: Keith Allison / Flickr

Source: Keith Allison / Flickr

The settlement between the NFL and former professional football players over the long-term risks of brain injuries was upheld today by the U.S. Third Circuit court of appeals.

The appeal was filed last August over numerous concerns, chiefly that the settlement did not cover chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated brain injury.

The appeal was of particular interest, as lawyers involved in the appeal filed a motion to take statements from the NFL senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller, which acknowledged the link between football and degenerative brain disease for the first time.


NFL
In its decision to uphold the settlement, the court said the players with concerns about the settlement “risk making the perfect the enemy of the good.”

The court also directly addressed Miller’s statement in the ruling, saying, “The NFL’s statement is an important development because it is the first time, as far as we can tell, that the NFL acknowledged a connection between football and CTE. On the other hand, the NFL is now conceding something already known. “

The ruling has raised some eyebrows because it seemingly acknowledged the settlement is flawed but maintained the settlement will provide enough to take care of retired players.

Under the settlement, players diagnosed with ALS can receive a maximum of $5 million in compensation. Family members of players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy can receive up to $4 million. Those with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are eligible for up to $3.5 million.

While these may sound like high payouts, the average payment to former players is predicted to be considerably less. Because the level of compensation is dependent on the recipient’s age and NFL experience, the average payment is expected to be $190,000.

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