Supreme Court Blocks Appeals Over NFL Concussion Settlement
On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not hear the appeals concerning the concussion-related settlement between the National Football League and more than 20,000 former players.
This class-action originated when former NFL players accused the NFL of hiding its true knowledge of the link between football and the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Upon reaching a settlement, however, a group of dissenting retirees argued that it “unfairly favored currently injured retirees and left thousands of former players who have not yet been diagnosed with neurological diseases without any recourse.”
With the final challenges coming to a close, payouts can begin. Per the settlement, these former players could receive up to $5 million each in the case of severe brain trauma. The total plan amounts to roughly $1 billion, covering over 20,000 former players over the next 65 years.
Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the retired NFL player class plaintiffs in these lawsuits, explained that with today’s decision, the benefits process should begin in the Spring of 2017. As noted by Seeger, “[w]ith a 99 participation rate in the settlement, and more than 11,000 retired players already pre-registering for benefits, it is clear these programs are highly anticipated by the NFL alumni community.”