NFL Will pay $765 Million to Settle Concussion LawsuitBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
In an attempt to prevent further damage to the game, the National Football League (NFL) has agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit filed by more than 4,500 players and their families that accused the league of hiding the dangers of concussions and lasting brain damages as a result of repeated hits to the head.
According to a filing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Thursday, the league has now agreed to pay for medical examinations and concussion-related compensation as rising evidence in recent years suggest that head trauma sustained on the field result in long-term cognitive damage.
"It would certainly seem to be fair financial terms to the NFL as an enterprise, especially given how difficult this lawsuit has been from a PR and perception viewpoint on both the NFL and the sport of football," said Robert Boland, professor of sports management at New York University. "This is a very positive end for the NFL."
The family of Dave Duerson, a former Chicago Bears and Notre Dame Safety, is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Duerson committed suicide and left a message urging medical officials to conduct a post mortem on his brain to seek evidence of football-related damage. In a separate wrongful-death lawsuit, his family sued the NFL and helmet maker Riddell in February 2012.
"This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football. Rather than litigate literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief and support where it is needed at a time when it is most needed," said mediator Layn Phillips, a retired federal judge.