Brain Injuries and the NFL

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players.

Every concussion and subconcussive blow injures the brain, creating a cumulative effect, and one concussion makes an athlete more likely to sustain a second.  Continued concussions and subconcussive blows during the course of a person’s life can lead to long-term and progressive effects.  Notably, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is plaguing many former NFL players.  The buildup of the protein tau on the brain disrupts normal functions and leads to symptoms including mood swings, change in personality, memory loss, depression and dementia.

Attorney Jason E. Luckasevic was one of the first lawyers to file a lawsuit against the NFL alleging that the League concealed knowledge of the long-term effects of brain injuries caused by football hits.

On January 7, 2017 the National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation class action settlement was finalized offering financial compensation to retired NFL football players suffering from neurological injuries caused by sustaining concussions during their playing years.  Players who receive qualifying diagnoses of Death with CTE (diagnosed prior to April 22, 2015), ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (moderate Dementia), and Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (early Dementia) and retired from the NFL on or before July 7, 2014 may qualify for monetary awards.  Under the settlement “every qualified Retired NFL Football Player will be eligible to receive one free baseline assessment examination during the term of the Settlement Program.”

More than 200 former players opted out of the settlement to the lawsuit, which accused the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions.

The time to register for benefits has expired however, if you have already registered you can still submit a claim for monetary award.  Even if you opted out of the settlement, you still have rights.

Helmet Manufacturers

Helmet manufacturers are also being held responsible for their negligent claims regarding helmet protection from concussion.

In 2006, for example, it claimed that its Revolution helmets would reduce concussions by 31%, but it never tested them for the type of hits that cause most concussions.

If you are a retired NFL player (or family member caring for a retired NFL player) suffering from the long-term effects of a brain injury sustained while playing football for the NFL, contact us for an evaluation of your claim or to obtain legal representation to assist in the claims process.


(NFL Concussion Settlement) [Link]
(CNN), 2015) [Link]
(NFL Concussion Settlement Update Registration)[Link]
(Fortune), 2016) [Link]
(Frontline), 2015) [Link]
Additional Resources:
Ex-NFL Players Say League Knew About Helmet Design Shortcomings Long Ago” by Jonathan Chew April 13, 2016 [Link]