The lawsuit against the NFL filed by former NFL players has received a lot of attention from its inception. In their lawsuit, former NFL players claimed that the NFL knew about the link between head traumas sustained while playing football and permanent brain injuries, but failed to take appropriate steps to protect the players. See NFL Faces Lawsuit Related to Concussions and Permanent Brain Injuries From Former Football Players.
A settlement of $765 million between the NFL and the players was proposed earlier this year, which was initially rejected by a federal judge. The judge was concerned that the settlement amount was insufficient to cover everyone, including players not part of the lawsuit. In addition, there was a cap on the treatment amounts players can receive, and the judge was concerned that the cap would not be enough to provide the necessary treatment for the players over their lifetimes. See Federal Judge Rejects $765 Million Settlement Agreement Between The NFL & Retired Injured Football Players Over Head Injuries.
After a revised settlement agreement was submitted, the judge approved the settlement. The players had an option to opt in or opt out of the settlement before October 14, 2014.
About 200 of the estimated 20,000 retired NFL players have opted out of the proposed settlement. Therefore, only 1% of the former football players or their families have opted out of the settlement. The next step is a fairness hearing on the settlement scheduled for Nov. 19 in front of U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia.
The settlement will cover retired players who develop Lou Gehrig's disease, dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their careers. The award amount will vary among players depending on the seriousness of the brain injuries or cognitive problems.
As for the players or families of players who opted out, they are choosing to continue with the litigation relating to head trauma and injury against the NFL on their own. The family of San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau is among one of the plaintiffs who rejected the deal.
The former players and family members who opted out will now file their own individual sports injury lawsuits against the NFL. Damages they may be able to recover are:
Family members of deceased football players would file wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions against the NFL.
For more information about traumatic brain injuries associated with sports injuries, feel free to call our office at 877.944.8396. You can also visit our legal library re PA and NJ traumatic brain injuries and sports accidents.
*Source: www.latimes.com(Fewer than 200 NFL retirees opt out of proposed concussion settlement)