NFL and Players Reach Proposed $764 Million Settlement in Concussion Injury Lawsuit
Football season is under way, and a massive settlement has been announced in the NFL concussion lawsuit. According to the Associated Press (AP), the National Football League (NFL) and over 4,500 former NFL players have reached a proposed settlement for compensating players who suffered neurological concussion-related injuries during their playing careers.
The AP report indicates that the terms of the settlement include an agreement for the NFL to pay $765 million that would be used to compensate plaintiffs involved in the litigation as well as fund medical research and examinations. The settlement involves neurological conditions allegedly suffered by such high profile players as Tony Dorsett, Junior Seau and Jim McMahan. The players involved in the lawsuits against the NFL allege that the league failed to disclose known dangers involved with allowing players to return to the field following a concussion or multiple concussions to protect the image of the league according to the AP report.
The federal judge assigned to the case announced the proposed settlement that was reached by the parties during court-ordered mediation. While the settlement offers hope for former players who suffered symptoms like memory loss, impaired cognitive function, mental confusion, mood disorders and more, there also is a downside to the settlement. The settlement may mean that the league will not have to make public its internal files concerning the link between impaired brain functioning and concussions. The players had sought disclosure of the activities of the NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was headed by a rheumatologist for over a decade.
In the wake of lawsuits against coaches/school administrators, the NFL concussion injury litigation and suicides by former NFL players allegedly linked to concussions, there has been an increasing focus on “second impact syndrome injuries.” This type of injury occurs when a players return to the field too rapidly after suffering a concussion and experience further head trauma before recovering fully from the first concussion. Second impact syndrome along with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are two serious medical conditions often suffered by players injured during football practices or games as well as other sports activities. We have described each in basic terms below:
Second Impact Syndrome (SIS): This type of injury occurs when the brain experiences significant and rapid growth from a concussion before the symptoms from a prior concussion have completely cleared up. The risk of SIS is why medical professionals generally recommend that coaches and administrators of youth sports leagues, high schools and colleges need to wait for a physician to conclude that all concussion-related effects have subsided before a player resumes participation. A player may experience SIS from even a mild second concussion days, weeks or even months after the first concussion if the player has not completely recovered from the prior incident. SIS can cause severe disability and even death.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): This type of injury is more likely experienced by professional football players because it is based on the accumulation of concussions over time. This is a progressive degenerative disease that can be definitively diagnosed postmortem. This is the condition that family members alleged contributed to Junior Seau’s suicide according to the AP report. Those who experience CTE may suffer severe neurological symptoms like aggression, dementia, depression, confusion and memory loss. CTE typically does not manifest symptoms until many years have passed following the repetitive head trauma.
Montlick & Associates has been protecting the legal rights of injured people and getting them the compensation they deserve for 30 years. If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion-related football injury, our Georgia traumatic brain injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.
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