A landmark ruling. That’s one way to describe U.S. District Judge Anita Brody granting preliminary approval Monday to compensate thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims. The historic deal comes two weeks after the NFL agreed to remove a $675 million cap on damages out of concern that the amount wouldn’t be sufficient to cover all claims.
According to the Associated Press, this latest settlement will last at least 65 years and give $1 million or more to retirees who develop Lou Gehrig's disease and other profound neurological problems.
“This is an extraordinary settlement for retired NFL players and their families — from those who suffer with neuro-cognitive illnesses today, to those who are currently healthy but fear they may develop symptoms decades into the future,” plaintiffs' attorneys Sol Weiss and Christopher Seeger said in a statement, as reported by the AP.
NFL senior vice president Anastasia Danias added in a statement that the league was “grateful to Judge Brody for her guidance and her thoughtful analysis of the issues as reflected in the comprehensive opinion she issued today.”
According to the AP, more than 4,500 former NFL players filed suit against the league, alleging fraud for its handling of concussions. Notable players involved in the lawsuit include former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers from dementia, and ex-Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett (pictured). Last November, Dorsett went public with his chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a decaying brain disease prevalent in many former football players.
Under Monday’s deal, a retiree with Lou Gehrig’s disease would receive $5 million, while a 50-year-old with Alzheimer’s would be allocated $1.6 million. An 80-year-old with early dimentia would get $25,000, according to the AP.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Martha Irvine, File)