The NFL settlement for retirees falls short of accurately assessing the effects of brain injury according to two people who would know, the current medical director of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and the former medical director of the organization. The doctors have filed a lawsuit against the NFL stating that the definition used to decide who gets paid out of the settlement is too narrow. Tests of retired players to determine eligibility look for cognitive difficulties leaving out problems such as mood swings and aggression. This is just the beginning of the issue with how poorly the settlement is being managed.
The doctors go on to point out in their court filing that the amount of a player’s payout is determined by how many years were spent in the employ of the NFL as a player as well as the age of the player. For example, the NFL’s flawed reasoning being that if a player is older and has dementia, he would receive less money because the dementia could be due to age rather than brain injury from multiple concussions. The organization also assumes that a player in the sport for less than five years should get less because they have received fewer hits. Anyone who has watched a game can see that an injury can be sustained by a player regardless of how many years he’s been in the game. The effects of this injury should be accurately assessed, so the individual can receive proper care and treatment.
Hopefully this filing by the BIAA will result in greater scrutiny of this settlement as players make the decision to opt in or out.