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Instant Replay: NFL Revisits Head Injury Settlement

A federal judge recently provided tentative approval of a new settlement offer by the National Football League (NFL) to players who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) during years of league play.

In recent years, legal action taken by retired football players against the NFL made traumatic brain injury a household term in the United States. Once admired for athletic grace and strength, many former football players suffer conditions like:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

For those who suffer repetitive brain trauma from any cause, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a devastating result. CTE has been diagnosed in former football, soccer, and baseball players who died of disabilities or committed suicide.

Last autumn, the NFL offered $765 million to settle the legal action brought by retired players. Conditions of the offer were rejected by the federal judge, Anita B. Brody, as insufficient to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

In early July, Judge Brody offered preliminary approval of a revised settlement offer by the NFL that includes provisions such as:

  • The removal of a $675 million cap on compensation to be paid to injured players and families
  • A definition of standards for physicians qualified to diagnose cognitive injury
  • Cash awards based on number of years played and the age of onset of dementia

A November hearing is set to hear objections and comments from players on the settlement. Approximately 18,000 players and families have the right to choose to opt in or out of the settlement offer.

Despite an upswing in research on the brain and treating brain injury, TBI cannot be reversed at present. If you or a loved one suffer a brain injury in an automobile or other accident in Lake or Porter counties, talk to an experienced injury attorney in Merrillville.