The NFL Admits 3 in 10 Former Players Are Eligible For Concussion Compensation

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Jovan Belcher

Jovan Belcher

Documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia say nearly a third of former NFL players are likely to develop cognitive problems serious enough to be eligible for compensation under the league’s proposed concussion settlement.

According to the most recent projections from an actuarial report prepared for the former players, approximately 3,600 ex-players of more than 19,000 former NFL players would receive money in the pending settlement, and another 2,300 ex-players would be eligible for awards but declined to participate in the suit.

Despite technically being uncapped, compensation under the settlement would add up to $950 million according to the report drawn up on behalf of the retired players. Reports from the NFL project similar numbers.

In a statement Friday, the co-lead counsel representing the retired players, Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss, called the finding that a projected 3,047 ex-players will be diagnosed with either Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, or Parkinson’s over the 65-year life span of the settlement “startling.”

Notably, the NFL’s settlement is drawn with the conclusion that brain injuries will no longer be a significant issue in the league. “The model assumes that no other players will be diagnosed with CTE,” states the NFL report in a footnote. Families of ex-players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy after death are up to $4 million, but players diagnosed after the deal’s preliminary approval in July will receive no compensation.

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