By: Joseph Cammarata
On Wednesday June 25, the National Football League agreed to remove the $675 million cap on a settlement fund for concussion lawsuits brought by former players. This would allow for an unlimited award fund to compensate as many as 20,000 retired NFL athletes suffering from concussion-related conditions.
Although there has been a great deal of publicity on the proposed NFL concussion settlement, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody denied preliminary approval of the deal in January because she had concerns over whether there would be enough money to fully compensate all claimants for their injuries. The settlement fund is designed to compensate former players who suffer certain neurological problems caused by concussions experienced during their careers.
An Unlimited Cap
The initial settlement set aside $675 million to compensate players with concussion-related neurological symptoms and conditions, including dementia and Lou Gehrig's disease. By eliminating the cap, there is no limit to the amount of money available to compensate former players for their injuries. However, a formula will still be used to distribute the money. This formula will take into account factors such as a player's age, severity of their condition, and time spent in the NFL.
Although the cap has been removed, there are still additional issues to be addressed. Judge Brody will have to accept the new settlement terms, and will also need to rule on a petition filed by several retired players who claim that the settlement formula provides no compensation for certain concussion-related symptoms, including headaches and changes in personality.
Some advocates who believed the $675 settlement was not enough for the many players affected by concussions still have concerns over how retired athletes will be compensated. The NFL, which makes an average of nearly $10 billion annually, has also been criticized for not fully compensating all athletes. Still, many are satisfied that the cap has now been lifted and are hopeful that Judge Brody will approve the deal in the coming weeks.
CSCS Supports Concussion Victims
Our legal team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. supports the decision to remove the settlement cap because we believe former players and their families deserve to be fully and fairly compensated. Having handled many brain injury cases throughout the years, including those involving athletes of all levels, we've seen the tragic long-term consequences concussions can have on victims and their loved ones. We strongly believe that former players deserve compensation for the preventable harm they have suffered and we will continue our efforts to prevent these types of injuries from happening to athletes in the future.
If you have questions about concussions and traumatic brain injuries, contact us today. Our personal injury lawyers have built a reputation as proven and passionate brain injury advocates.