Posted August 29, 2013

NFL, retired players reach settlement on concussion lawsuits

NFL
Concussions are a major point in player safety in the National Football League. (Photo by the Washington Post)

The National Football League and 4,500 retired players settled a lawsuit regarding concussions. (Getty Images)

The National Football League and more than 4,500 retired players and their family members reached a proposed $765 million settlement of concussion-related lawsuits, a district court announced Thursday.

The players filed the lawsuit against the league claiming the NFL hid known concussion risks, leading to high rates of dementia, depression and even suicides.

The plaintiffs included at least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the family of Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year. According to terms of the settlement, the NFL does not admit liability or that injuries were caused by football.

Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody was set to rule on the case in July, but ordered the two sides to try to negotiate and report back to her by Sept. 3.

As a result, the NFL will pay $765 million “to fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation, and a program of medical research” for the 4,500 plaintiffs in the case.

“This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football,” Former United States District Judge Layn Phillips, the court-appointed mediator, said in a statement. “Rather than litigate literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief and support where it is needed at a time when it is most needed. I am deeply grateful to Judge Brody for appointing me as mediator and offering me the opportunity to work on such an important and interesting matter.”


9 comments
Matt1983
Matt1983

Just for the record, $765 million might sound like a lot, but it works out to about $170,000 per plaintiff and less than 12 days of revenue for the NFL.

The health and lives of all their former players are worth about 12 days of revenue to the NFL.

Aloha!
Aloha!

These NFL players have been banging their heads all through pop-warner football, High school, and college. The head can only take so much and something has to give. If you don't want scambled eggs for brains simply stay away from it. Why should anybody have to pay for the life they love. The warnings have being here for years and do you see any shortage of customers waiting to bang some more heads. 

decredico
decredico

not much of a payout ,.,... the nfl got off light here

atwood.t
atwood.t

This was certainly needed but not sure it is enough and it is just a small part of the NFL's revenues.

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

@atwood.t You want to take all of their revenues so they fail?  Obama, is that you?!

Saqalicious
Saqalicious

@SteveRowFla @Aaron14 @atwood.t Steve, since you're apparently only 17, I'll try to keep it simple. 

The NFL makes $765 million in less than a month. If that is all they have to pay for the medical and mental issues suffered by former players, it is a small pittance. 

It's similar to the idea of fines in pro sports. Professional athletes are often fined $10,000 or more for being late to a meeting, or a uniform violation. They are fined such large amounts because their salaries are so high that a lesser fine would not be meaningful.

That was atwood's point - $765 million barely registers in the NFL's balance sheet. Nobody was talking about taking all of their revenues, so keep your baseless political comments to yourself.

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

@Aaron14 @SteveRowFla @atwood.t I'm not saying that at all.  Atwood is the one who tied the settlement to revenues, not me.  Where in my post did I possibly say they're in danger of going broke?  Only if little atwood there gets his way.  But you're only 14.  Surely you'll be a little more enlightened in a few years.