On Wednesday, June 25, the National Football League (NFL) announced a new settlement in the concussion lawsuit comprised of more than 4,000 former players. The rejected proposal of $765 million was replaced with an uncapped fund intended to meet the needs of all the qualified retirees.
Months of negotiation led to the new deal, established after federal judge Anita Brody deemed the initial settlement too small to meet all the needs of the players and those who will qualify in the future. Judge Brody must approve the deal before the fund is created.
More than the mounting medical expenses associated with treating the lasting brain injuries, the former players believed the NFL hid the dangerous effects of repeat concussions. In 2006, the NFL released findings and used circular reasoning to claim players affected by mild traumatic brain injuries returned to the same game or within a week, meaning the blows to the head were not serious injuries.
Jason Luckasevic, originator of the NFL concussion lawsuit and shareholder at Goldberg, Persky & White, believes this development acknowledges the NFL’s fault by not informing players of the serious risks associated with repeated concussions.
“This deal shows that playing in the NFL will ruin your brain,” Luckasevic said. “The NFL acknowledged this by providing a lifetime insurance plan on the players through this compensation system.”
Many of those who retired from the NFL find themselves struggling with memory loss and depression, among other serious side effects. After months of uncertainty, the league they gave their all to finally responded accordingly.
The specifics of the deal include medical exams and follow-up benefits for eligible retirees and a compensation fund for players who suffered certain cognitive impairments, including ALS, Parkinson’s dementia and Alzheimer’s. If they players are deceased, the family then becomes eligible for the benefits.
Luckasevic is pleased with the results of months of hard work and his continued involvement.
“I’m proud to have originated this case to the benefit of every player who played in the most popular sport and the biggest league in this country.”
For more information about Luckasevic’s work, visit http://sportsbrainlawyers.com
[This post originally appeared on Goldberg, Persky & White’s website]
National Football League. (2014). Revised settlement in concussion suit reached; funds uncapped. [Link]
Loeb, P. (2014). NFL agrees to lift cap on concussion litigation settlements. CBS Philly. [Link]