U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody rejected the previous $765 million concussion settlement between the NFL and former players with head trauma who were suing the league, but she offered preliminary approval of the more recent settlement produced saying the NFL would uncap the payments to former players suffering debilitating systems. The first settlement was thrown out because Judge Brody felt that the $765 million would be insufficient to cover the lifetime of the 65 year settlement. Her preliminary approval of the new settlement left the former players another step closer to receiving payment from the NFL.
The plaintiffs are pleased with the preliminary approval and state that the settlement for retired NFL players and their families is extraordinary. It would apply to those suffering from neuro-cognitive illnesses today to any who suffered head injury without current signs of major damage, but who fear serious symptoms could develop in the future. The settlement would provide guaranteed benefits and long-term security. They look forward to finalizing the agreement.
The NFL’s response was to offer gratitude to Judge Brody for her guidance and thoughtful approach to the serious issues being addressed. They state that they will work with the plaintiffs’ counsel in order to implement the terms of the settlement as per the Court’s final decision.
According to the terms outlined for the compensation program, funds would be established and retired players would qualify to use the funds if they were to develop a qualifying neurocognitive condition. The plaintiffs now have 90 days to opt out or challenge the settlement. At that point in time Brody will be able to give her final approval of the settlement agreement.
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