As the NFL's concussion settlement with former players was filed in court earlier this week, the public and the ex-players may have a few questions about the deal.
Here are five illuminating questions and answers about the NFL's settlement agreement:
1. How Much Money Is Involved?
Since the deal was proposed in August, there has been only a slight clarification of the $765 million offered by the National Football League to settle claims by ex-players and their families for concussions those players suffered while playing for the NFL.
According to The New York Times, the new agreement calls for a payment by the NFL of $760 million, to be allocated to:
- Medical testing, treatment, and exams ($75 million),
- Monetary awards for players and their families ($675 million), and
- Education programs promoting safety ($10 million).
2. How Much Will Each Ex-Player Get?
In dividing up the $675 million reserved for players and their families, the NFL will give a maximum of $5 million to each former player (or deceased former player's family) if the player was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) before the age of 45, after playing five or more full seasons in the NFL.
Any player who does not meet one of these conditions will be paid a fraction of the $5 million maximum award. Factors that will determine an ex-player's exact payout include the player's age, the presence of Parkinson's and/or Alzheimer's, and signs of dementia.
3. How Much Will Families Get?
The late Junior Seau's family sued the NFL after the 43-year-old former player fatally shot himself in May 2012, and the presence of CTE in his autopsy may entitle his family to $4 million in settlement funds.
Relatives of former players who died in similar ways, like Dave Duerson's family, will stand to recover far less.
4. Can Ex-Players Still Sue the NFL?
Yes. Ex-players and their families will have 60 days from the court's acceptance of the settlement agreement to opt out of the class action settlement and sue the NFL.
Since some civil suits for brain injuries -- ones employing the same NFL concussion research -- have snagged over $5 million for brain injury victims, some ex-players may take their chances by taking on the NFL in front of a jury.
5. Can the NFL Back Out?
Also yes. In the 60 days before the concussion agreement is finalized, the NFL can still call off the deal.
Hopefully this new settlement will bring a sense of justice for injured former NFL players and their families.
- NFL Concussion Settlement: Digging Into the Details (Bloomberg)
- NFL Concussion Settlement: Details Revealed in Court Filing (FindLaw's Decided)
- Former NHL Players Sue Over Concussions (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Will NCAA Concussion Lawsuits Be Consolidated? (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)