The delayed NFL settlement to former football players with neurological issues arising from football-related concussions can begin with the U.S. Supreme Court’s deferment to review the settlement. The payment to injured players has been delayed over the last five years by court actions initiated by the NFL and will offer some players as much as $5 million. The settlement is believed to be valued at $1 billion and covers nearly every player for the next 65 years. Actuaries for the league have estimated that under 30% of the players could develop the neurological conditions covered by the settlement. Still, the settlement doesn’t cover all players as there are over 100 players who “opted out” of the class action and those cases must still be decided by Judge Brody who presided over the court action leading to the initial $765 million settlement.
With the settlement moving forward it will still be a while before players receive any money. Starting next month the NFL must make six monthly deposits of $20 million into a special account set up for players covered by the settlement. By April, the plaintiff’s attorneys must set up the procedures to allow players to start filing claims. Medicare has been in negotiations with Christopher Seeger, one of the former players attorney, to address the liens which Medicare can file against class action lawsuit members. The Medicare liens would be deducted from the lump-sum settlements received by players.
It’s been a long road for the injured players and even as the last hurdles are being cleared it will be a while before they can start receiving payment. Are the payments adequate for the care, treatment and rehabilitation that the injured players will need for the remainder of their lives? And, what about the players who opted-out? Will they be compensated for their injuries.
Football’s legacy has been marred by the injuries sustained by former players and the lawsuit which has been required to provide them with much needed compensation for their injuries and disabilities arising from the sport. NeuroNotes has long covered the problems associated with multiple concussions including: CTE, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsonism and other neurological disabilities. We are pleased to see the NFL settlement coming to a conclusion.