NFL Concussion Settlement Appealed; Benefits Delayed Again

The long-awaited settlement between the National Football League and its former players suffering from concussion-related injuries will be further delayed as one player and his wife filed an appeal of the agreed upon and judge-approved settlement on Wednesday, May 13.

The settlement, having gone through several negotiations and a prior rejection by Judge Anita Brody, addressed the court’s concerns on monetary limit and was finally approved on April 22. The latest settlement relieves the $675 million cap the NFL set on its contribution to the injured players. It also increased the awards to the former players based on specific injuries and diagnoses. Though agreed upon by an astounding majority (99 percent) of former players, the three and a half year battle wages on, as one player and his wife have filed an appeal. Craig Heimburger , who played from 1999-2002, and his wife were the first to seek an appeal of the approved settlement, though they may not be alone. The estate of former Chicago Bears Safety, Dave Duerson, indicated an intention to also appeal the settlement shortly after it was approved.

This appeal is disheartening to the many former players suffering from serious neurocognitive disorders that need these benefits to get medical treatment, as it will continue to delay receipt of those benefits. Attorneys, Seeger & Weiss, for the retired players are “extremely disappointed and perplexed.” They believe that the forthcoming objections to the settlement have already been made and overruled by Judge Brody. Additionally, the attorneys stated they “look forward to offering a forceful defense of the settlement in the Court of Appeals.”

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