The NFL has announced it will agree to a new concussion settlement, one without the $765 million damages cap.
The National Football League had agreed in August to an estimated $765 million in settlement funds for former NFL players and their families; the judge rejected it. Now the League says it supports a new settlement agreement that "will not be capped at any specified amount."
What else does this revised settlement agreement provide, and will it be enough for the judge?
NFL Agrees to Lift Cap on Recovery
In late August, the NFL had reached an agreement with more than 4,500 ex-NFL players to set aside $765 million to settle concussion based injury claims. Details of how the money would be dispersed were released in court filings in January, and it appeared that the maximum that each player might receive would be $5 million.
There was just one problem: The federal judge overseeing the NFL concussion case, Anita Brody, rejected the multimillion-dollar settlement agreement, worried that there would not be enough money to compensate all the affected former players. The settlement would not be legally binding without a court's approval, so something needed to change.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the NFL noted that the new settlement agreement will "ensure funds are available to any eligible retired player who develops a compensable injury" as well as set aside "$10 million for education on concussion prevention."
When Would Players Get Paid?
Now that there's a new settlement agreement on the table, it will still have to be approved by Judge Brody before it can be sent to former NFL players. The New York Times notes that it may take months to collect responses from the 18,000 retired players and their beneficiaries, and "no players will be paid until all appeals are exhausted."
When they finally do get paid, the payment scheme for ex-players revealed in January will likely remain the same. The Associated Press notes that affected players can expect to receive anywhere from $25,000 to $5 million based on age and severity of injuries/disease.
With serious medical issues like dementia and ALS to contend with, this settlement money cannot come soon enough to some ex-players and their families.
- NFL Agrees to Lift $765 Million Cap on Payments to Retired Players in Head Trauma Settlement (Slate)
- Dan Marino Withdraws From NFL Concussion Lawsuit (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- NFL Concussion Settlement: 5 Questions and Answers (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- NFL Concussions: Players Filing Class Actions (FindLaw's Injured)