NFL Concussion Cases
While it may seem that only retired National Football League (NFL) players are impacted by the proposed settlement of the pending concussion lawsuit, the reality is that beyond the players themselves, the players’ friends, families, associates, and fans are equally impacted.
The nature of this lawsuit alleges that 20,000 retired players were exposed to unknown and in some cases even hidden risks from receiving repeated concussions, including minor concussions during their career. Specifically, as it relates to the NFL, the lawsuit alleges that the NFL knew of the immediate and long-term consequences players would acquire as a result of repeated concussions and failed to properly inform and protect them.
A recently released report created by the NFL predicts that 3 out of 10 retired players (almost 6,000 players) will develop cognitive problems after they leave the NFL. While the symptoms of major concussions may be readily apparent, the symptoms and long-term effects of repeated minor concussions may not manifest themselves for several years.
In the most serious situations, repeated concussions result in Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and certain cases of neuropathological findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which are diagnosed after death. These conditions above are degenerative and will become progressively worse over time with a patient who is immediately displaying specific and consistent behaviors.
Take this survey to see if a former player you know is displaying any symptoms you should be concerned about.
Who is included in the Settlement?
The NFL, NFL Europe, NFL Europa, AFL and the World League of American Football are all included in the class action Settlement.
This does not fail to include those who are incapacitated, incompetent or deceased. Immediate family of retired players and/or the legal representatives of those who can no longer speak on their own behalf are included in the Settlement Class.
What does the Settlement provide?
- $75 million in diagnostic medical exams in which will determine if retired players are entitled to additional testing and/or treatments.
- Diagnoses of chronic damages such as Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and neuro-pathologic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are receiving monetary awards. These monetary awards generally range from $1.5 million to $5 million depending on the diagnosis.
- $10 million in Football safety and educational programs have been created to help reduce future occurrences.
What are my rights?
For retired players displaying diminished cognitive abilities, it may make sense to opt for the NFL settlement and pursue alternate action with the NFL. This litigation is winding down and individual retired players need to decide whether to be bound by the settlement no later than October 14, 2014.
Given that all retired players’ experiences are different, we encourage you to contact our office immediately if you have any questions about how this settlement will impact a retired player. After October 14, 2014, all retired players who have not opted out will be bound by the terms of this settlement and barred from suing the NFL for any concussion-related injuries thereafter.
How can I get benefits?
Our office is currently representing retired players and we are ready to answers your questions before it’s too late!
Consulting with an experienced attorney can ensure that you make an educated decision about whether to participate in this settlement depending on your current physical and cognitive condition.
- NFL Litigation Definitions
- View this link from CNN about facts relating to how this case has evolved
- View the initial complaint here
- View a list of plaintiffs as of 2011 here
- View an overview of the current settlement here