NFL Agrees to Pay $765 Million Suit Regarding Neurological Injuries
Personal Injury - August 29, 2013
“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.,” said former United States District Judge Layn Phillips, the court-appointed mediator in the concussion related lawsuits brought on by more than 4,500 retired football players against the National Football League and others.
The agreement effectively ends the litigation against the NFL and NFL related services that provide medical and other benefits like compensation to injured players and their families who qualify. The agreement calls for the NFL and related services to provide $765 million for medical benefits and injury compensation for retired NFL football players, fund medical and safety research, and cover litigation expenses.
NFL Executive Vice President Jeffrey Pash stated, “This agreement let us help those who need it most and continue our work to make the game safer for current and future players. Commissioner Goodell and every owner gave the legal team the same direction: do the right thing for the game and for the men who played it. We though it was critical to get more help to players and families who deserve it rather than spend many years and millions of dollars on litigation. This is an important step that builds on the significant changes we’ve made in recent years to make the game safer, and we will continue our work to better the long-term health and well-being of NFL players.”
Lead plaintiffs’ attorney Christopher Seeger commented, “This is an extraordinary agreement that will provide immediate care and support to retired players and their families. This agreement will get help quickly to the men who suffered neurological injuries. It will do so faster and at far less cost, both financially and emotionally, than could have ever been accomplished by continuing to litigate.”
Kevin Turner, former running back for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, said, “I am grateful that the NFL is making a commitment to the men who made the game what it is today… The benefits in this agreement will make a difference not only for me and my family, but also for thousands of my football brothers who either need help today or may need help someday in the future.”
The agreement calls for NFL and NFL Properties to make payments for baseline medical exams capped at $75 million, a separate fund of $675 million to compensate former players who have suffered cognitive injury or their families, a separate research and education fund of $10 million, and other additional payments.
According to Judge Phillips, both sides felt it would be more productive to get out of court and provide help for retired players with medical needs, focusing on the future of the game and making it safer. The alternative to the settlement would have meant 10 more years and millions of dollars spent on litigation. This would not have been good for the retired players and their families. The agreement allows for both sides to be constructive in building a better game for the future.
For the parents of kids who play football, Judge Phillips commented, “Parents should know that the NFL and the plaintiffs are committed to doing what’s right for the game and making it safer at all levels. The proposed settlement includes funds for medical research and education to support those goals.”
The full press release can be downloaded here: http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/photo/2013/08/29/0ap2000000235504.pdf