The National Football League (NFL) has settled concussion and head injury lawsuits filed by players explains a New York brain injury lawyer at the F&A injury law firm in Manhattan. Back in December of 2016, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal stemming from the 2015 class-action settlement agreement between the NFL (National Football League) and more than 20,000 retired players regarding past concussion injuries. This critical ruling has now made it possible for all seriously injured former players who meet the criteria set forth in the settlement to begin filing their claims based on their qualifying medical conditions. Family members of players named in the settlement may also file certain claims that can best be explained by a New York brain injury lawyer. More basic information on the settlement can be found here.
Who Had Appealed the Earlier Settlement?
This case was appealed all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court because numerous retired players who had not yet received certain diagnoses feared that they and others might not be able to rightfully recover under the agreement. These players felt their views gained added credence after an NFL executive vice president testified before congress in 2016 that he believed that there is a definite connection between playing football and developing CTE. Nevertheless, a federal appeals court judge said that admission did not invalidate the earlier settlement.
As the media have reported during recent years, many players have also reported developing such other brain conditions as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease – ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
What is CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a disease of the brain often found in athletes and others who have suffered numerous blows to the head. Going all the way back to the 1920s, this medical condition was first noted (by a different name) in boxers. Over time, doctors realized that it could develop any just about anyone who suffered repeated blows to the head.
When the brain suffers repeated trauma, its tissues can develop an unusual, damaging protein called “tau.” These negative changes in the brain can start soon — or not develop until many years later. Those who suffer from CTE often complain of confusion, memory loss, increased aggression, impulse control problems, depression, and various forms of dementia. CTE can only be positively diagnosed after someone dies and their brain is autopsied. As noted above, other brain diseases can also sometimes be traced to head trauma.
What Types of Awards Are Available Under the Settlement Agreement?
Those who were parties to the massive 2015 settlement agreement should seriously consider hiring a lawyer who can help them properly interpret the settlement’s provisions prior to filing claims on their behalf. At present, the NFL expects to pay out as much as $1 billion over a 65-year-period for medical and other benefits to those who suffered concussions and other related injuries.
One current estimate is that the NFL is expecting about 6,000 players (close to one-third of those covered under the settlement) to file claims related to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The Associated Press says it believes the NFL expects to pay an average amount of $190,000 per player. Of course, some players may receive far more than that amount while others could receive less.
The highest payouts under the settlement are likely to hover between three and five million ($3 and $5 million). The highest payouts will probably go to the surviving families of players who died and had confirmed cases of CTE – as well as those whose concussions led to their later development of ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Retired players who currently only show signs of “early dementia” will probably receive closer to one million dollars.
Individual Losses Are Society’s Losses, Too
While many people have now learned about NFL player Kevin Turner’s early death at age 46 of a very advanced case of CTE, there are thousands of other less well-known retired players who are still alive and struggling daily to cope with traumatic brain injuries that never could have been fully foreseen back when they first began playing. And in the early days of the NFL, few franchise owners were open to player claims that they were suffering from permanent head injuries due to the regular hits they took while playing the game.
Hopefully, all the retired players named in the 2015 settlement agreement and their families will soon realize a large portion of the justice that’s long been owed to them. And one day soon, other athletes may also benefit from this lengthy NFL battle – such as many of the former NHL (National Hockey League) players who’ve suffered serious head injuries.
If you or a loved one were named members of the 2015 NFL settlement agreement, you should contact your New York brain injury lawyer right away so that we can help you begin the settlement claim process. The F&A Brain Injury Law Firm is handling NFL concussion cases and is available for free consultations at (212) 222-1111 or (855) BRAIN-LAW.