Brain Injuries, Catastrophic Personal Injury
On Wednesday, a federal district judge in Philadelphia approved a settlement in the NFL concussion lawsuit, which was filed by over 5,000 former NFL players against the league for intentionally concealing the dangers of concussions. While the case will likely face further appeal(s), this settlement represents a significant step in bringing an end toward this fierce, high-profile legal battle.
A preliminary deal was originally reached in August of 2013, but Judge Anita B. Brody had requested that the two sides amend the agreement to remove limitations on the total amount of potential spending related to damages and medical monitoring, according to the New York Times (link). The settlement also allots $10 million for concussion education, and the NFL has agreed to pay $112 million in fees for the players’ counsel.
Players who have been diagnosed with a severe neurological disorder covered as part of the settlement are eligible to receive as much as $5 million. While this is a substantial amount of money, many critics assert that the settlement should have had a broader scope to include other medical conditions (memory loss, irritability, depression, and difficulty sleeping) and a provision allowing for future medical discoveries, most notably in regard to CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Also many aren’t happy that payments can be decreased based on the player’s age, number of seasons played, and/or how closely related a non-football stroke or TBI is to the original “Qualifying Diagnosis,” among other, more ambiguous factors.
The maximum payment schedule for each qualifying diagnosis is as follows:
- $1.5 million – Level 1.5 neurocognitive impairment
- $3 million – Level 2 neurocognitive impairment
- $3.5 million – Parkinson’ disease
- $3.5 million – Alzheimer’s disease
- $4 million – Death with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)
- $5 million – ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
In addition to forcing the league to acknowledge their culpability in the health and well-being of former players, another dispute arose (this one among the plaintiffs themselves) regarding the urgency of the settlement. Many former players are upset that the deal covers all retired players, not only those who were involved in the suit – a move designed to avoid future legal battles. This is especially contentious for the more than 200 players who dropped out of the suit in order to pursue further legal action against the league. Individual players who opted out of the settlement will still be given the opportunity to settle with the league on their own, however, and the family of deceased former Pro Bowler, Dave Duerson, has already made it clear that they plan to file an appeal.
While some players would rather continue to fight for the best possible settlement to protect themselves and future players, others have accepted the deal with the understanding that they may not have been able to defeat the NFL in a trial. One such former player, Kevin Turner, has stressed the need to help former players in the present as much as the future. Mr. Turner is a retired fullback who played eight years in the NFL and now suffers from ALS. “What matters now is time, and many retired players do not have much left,” said Turner. “I hope this settlement is implemented without delay so that we can finally start helping those in need.”
Stating that the settlement is “fair, reasonable and adequate,” Judge Brody addressed several of these criticisms. And, given that she twice requested that the two sides revise the settlement, it seems unlikely that the appellate court would overturn the settlement. Said Scott Rosner, an attorney and faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, “My sense is that the appellate court in this instance will give some pretty significant deference to Judge Brody.” Still, in the unlikely event that all or part of the settlement is overturned, the case will likely return to Judge Brody’s court anyway. It’s also expected that she will assume jurisdiction over cases of the more than 200 players who opted out of the settlement.
Belson, K. (2015, April 22). Judge approves deal in N.F.L. Concussion Suit. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/sports/football/nfl-concussion-settlement-is-given-final-approval.html?_r=0
Moskovitz, D. (2015, April 22). The NFL’s concussion settlement is approved. Deadspin. Retrieved from http://deadspin.com/the-nfls-concussion-settlement-is-approved-1699586689
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Can You Get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head?Sep 21, 2022
Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, are far more common than most people realize. Most estimates figure at least 3 million new cases occur in the United States each year, with falls, sports accidents, and car crashes commonly responsible. But because so many people with mild traumatic brain injury delay or skip medical […]
Depression After a Car Accident: Common Causes and SymptomsFeb 14, 2022
A car accident can turn you and your loved one’s lives upside down. Car accidents can lead to financial, physical, mental, and emotional hardships for victims and their families. After you experience a devastating accident, it is important to call an experienced personal injury attorney so you can get the compensation you deserve to help […]
Headache After Car Accident Trauma: Why It Won’t Go Away and What to Do NextJan 24, 2022
Post-traumatic headaches after a car accident usually resolve after a few months. However, a surprising number of crash victims experience chronic headaches for years after their wreck. Unfortunately, insurance companies are skeptical of people who claim ongoing, disabling headaches—and sometimes deny legitimate claims. In this article, the traumatic brain injury (TBI) lawyers at Crosley Law […]
What’s the Difference Between a Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome?Jul 26, 2021
Head injuries are common in car crashes, and many victims must deal with changes to their mental well-being. Troubles from head trauma can last a few weeks or stick around long-term, but even a mild head injury can force victims to withdraw from regular day-to-day activities. Hundreds of thousands of people experience a traumatic head […]
10 Strategies That Will Help You Navigate a Brain Injury LawsuitFeb 18, 2021
Personal injury claims can feel overwhelming, even without a traumatic brain injury. However, a TBI adds an unwanted layer of difficulty to your case: memory loss, word-finding issues, and other symptoms can make a lawsuit feel impossible. Don’t give up. Instead, start taking little steps that help you regain control. At Crosley Law, we’ve earned […]
8 Questions For Brain Injury LawyerOct 13, 2020
When someone’s negligence causes your brain injury, you deserve accountability and compensation. Often, the first step towards getting the help you deserve is finding the right brain injury lawyer. Here in San Antonio, the Crosley Law team has earned a reputation for a cutting-edge and client-focused approach to brain injury claims. We know how difficult it […]
Living With a TBI: A Guide for Survivors and Their Loved OnesAug 06, 2020
It may only take a few weeks to recover from a mild concussion. However, most people with moderate or severe TBIs face a lifetime of challenges. We’ve worked with many TBI survivors, and we know that every brain injury is different. At Crosley Law, we never lump every survivor into a single bucket. We take […]
Can an Old Head Injury Cause Problems Years Later?Jul 14, 2020
If you’ve ever suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury, you know it can take time for the headaches, memory issues, and dizziness to go away. Sometimes, concussion victims suffer permanent damage that makes it difficult to work and do the things they love. However, insurance companies will often try to minimize your TBI symptoms […]
3 Things You Need to Know About Scooter Injuries and Young PeopleMay 05, 2020
Electric scooter rental companies like Bird, Lime, and Lyft make it easier for young people to get from place to place in urban areas at a fraction of the cost of a taxi or rideshare. Scooters can go up to 20 miles per hour to get people where they need be quickly. They also alleviate […]
Children and Seniors Are Most Vulnerable in Pedestrian CrashesApr 23, 2020
Every 88 minutes, someone dies from a pedestrian-car crash. In 2018, there were 8,110 bicyclist and pedestrian crashes in Texas. Unfortunately, pedestrian-car crashes are more common in urban areas like San Antonio. While all pedestrians are vulnerable, children and older individuals face a much higher risk of death or injury. In this article, the experienced […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.