NFL Settlement with Retired Players Confirms Brain Injury Severity

The long-term effects of NFL player head injuries are in the news again. The NFL and former players are settling a class-action lawsuit according to USA Today. A federal judge is resolving thousands of NFL player concussion lawsuits based on a plan that will cost the NFL up to $1 billion over 65 years. The suit alleges the NFL didn’t do enough to warn players about the risks of brain damage.

The agreement provides up to $5 million per retired, injured player. These players suffer from developmental memory and cognitive issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Retired players suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia will receive $190,000 on average. The awards could reach $1 million to $5 million for players with

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Brain trauma injuries leading to death

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative disease of the brain and is associated with repeated head traumas like concussions. Players suffering from CTE have symptoms such as depression, aggression and disorientation.

A Kansas City Chiefs NFL player suffered from CTE shot and killed his girlfriend and committed suicide. More than 50 former NFL players, including Junior Seau and Dave Duerson both committed suicide and donated their brains for scientific research.

Blows to the head and violent shakes to the head or body can cause traumatic brain injuries.

Most NFL concussion victims don’t receive medical attention because they don’t lose consciousness. Brain injuries are missed when Injured players and NFL medical staff ignore subtle symptoms. Every concussion injures your brain to some extent and requires proper medical attention.

Current NFL players are not included in the agreement. Some family members can also file a claim after the ruling becomes final this fall.

The NFL lawsuits, and similar suits filed later against the NHL and the NCAA and others, have ignited debate and discussion and safety reforms about sports concussions, both for professional and amateur athletes.

For more information:

  • Judge approves potential $1 billion settlement to resolve concussion lawsuits, USA Today
  • Are young people aware of the risks of contact sports?, Slater Vecchio

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Michael Slater, K.C.
Michael Slater K.C. is the founding partner of Slater Vecchio. The majority of his practice is confined to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury cases.