By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
August 30, 2013
The NFL has reached a settlement in the class-action concussion lawsuit brought by 4,500 retired players. Rather than be subject to a lengthy and costly trial, the league agreed to a $765 million deal that will compensate victims, pay for medical exams, and fund brain trauma research. Per the settlement, players diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will receive $5 million, while those with dementia will receive $3 million. It’s eligible to all 18,000 former NFL players, though 10 NFL Hall of Famers were plaintiffs in the actual lawsuit. The settlement doesn’t represent an admission by the NFL that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by playing football.
With the $765 million being dispersed over 20 years, the total settlement may seem small given the NFL’s long-term TV contracts. However, a win for the players in court was far from guaranteed. With this legal hurdle out of the way, the NFL can redirect its attention on the most important issue: continuing to make the game safer.