A bit of serious news amid the football lull: the NFL and the representatives for the plaintiffs of the NFL concussion class-action lawsuit reached an agreement stating that the NFL’s obligation to award money to retired players will not be capped at any specific dollar amount, as opposed to be the $765 million settlement that was agreed to last summer before being denied by U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody back in January.
Consistent with the settlement announced last year, the revised agreement provides a wide range of benefits to retired NFL players and their families, including a separate fund to offer all eligible retirees a comprehensive medical exam and follow-up benefits, and an injury compensation fund for retirees who have suffered cognitive impairment, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or ALS. Where the retiree is deceased or unable to pursue his claim, a family member may do so on his behalf. While actuarial estimates from both parties supported the $765 million settlement that was announced in August, this new agreement will ensure funds are available to any eligible retired player who develops a compensable injury.
The catch, mind you, is that the NFL has unlimited power to appeal awarded claims, which the league will undoubtedly make use of. Players do have the ability to litigate said appeals deemed frivolous or intimidating, which is nice, though still sounds like the last thing an ailing former player needs to go through when medical care is needed.