The settlement between the National Football League and former players has been stalled by the actions of the judge pending further evaluation of the settlement. Originally the players asked for $2billion and agreed to a $765 million settlement pending approval by the judge. The settlement to players was based on severity of the problems they have as a result of multiple concussions and their age. In this model an older player would receive a smaller settlement than a younger player with the same disabling condition(s) based on estimated life expectancy. The NFL settlement also included monies for research into CTE and other neurological problems associated with player injuries. Current players are excluded from the settlement and its yet to be determined how their potential health problems may be addressed in the future by the NFL.
There are many aspects to effectively evaluating the true cost of living with a neurological disability. Certainly, severity of impairment is one measure. With people living with the effects of multiple brain injuries it is difficult to project the course of their disability over their lifetime. Additionally, there are secondary issues such as family caregivers and children whose lives are affected by having a spouse or parent with a brain injury disability. Are these issues being considered in the analysis of fairness? I am concerned that the NFL settlement is both “too little” and “too late”. Brain injury can have lifetime costs approaching $20 million for a young person with a severe injury. Will the NFL settlement address the true costs of a person living with the effects of a brain injury?
Click here to read the Bleacher Report on the NFL settlement.