PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The National Football League has agreed to pay cash awards to any player who suffers from dementia and other diseases linked to head hits.
The guarantee is part of a revised settlement agreed upon by both the league and also counsel for retired players.
In the revised agreement the NFL’s obligations under the monetary award fund will not be capped at any specified amount.
Some 5,000 players filed a suit against the league claiming the dangers of concussions were being hidden.
In August the league agreed to pay $765 million to settle that suit, but a judge rejected that proposal in January claiming there wouldn’t be enough money to cover all the claims.
“This agreement will give retired players and their families immediate help if they suffer from a qualifying neurocognitive illness, and provide peace of mind to those who fear they may develop a condition in the future,” said co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss. “This settlement guarantees that these benefits will be there if needed, and does so without years of litigation that may have left many retired players without any recourse.”
“Today’s agreement reaffirms the NFL’s commitment to provide help to those retired players and their families who are in need, and to do so without the delay, expense and emotional cost associated with protracted litigation. We are eager to move forward with the process of court approval and implementation of the settlement,” said NFL Senior Vice President Anastasia Danias.
The agreement also provides that the NFL will set aside $10 million for education on concussion prevention, as well as pay the costs of providing notice to the class and for administration of the settlement. If the Court grants preliminary approval, retired players will be formally notified of the settlement, with a final approval hearing likely to occur later this year.