Federal appeals court upholds revised rules for NFL concussion settlement


June 15, 2020

The US Court of Appeals for Third Circuit on Friday upheld revised rules regarding settlements for former National Football League (NFL) players with neurological damage from football concussions.

Under the revised rules, the settlement provides the following for retired NFL players with neurological damage:

The Baseline Assessment Program, which provides baseline neuropsychological and neurological examinations for eligible Retired NFL Football Players and additional medical testing, counseling, and/or treatment if they are diagnosed with moderate cognitive impairment during their baseline examinations (every qualified Retired NFL Football Player will be eligible to receive one free baseline assessment examination during the term of the Settlement Program);

Monetary Awards for diagnoses of Death with CTE before April 22, 2015 (the Final Approval Date), ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (moderate Dementia) and Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (early Dementia) (click here to read more about the injury descriptions in Exhibit 1 to the Settlement Agreement) and Derivative Claimant Awards for people who assert a right to recover based on their relationships with Players who receive Qualifying Diagnoses. All valid claims under the Settlement, without limitation, will be paid in full throughout the 65-year life of the Settlement Program; and

Education programs promoting safety and injury prevention with respect to football players, including safety-related initiatives in youth football, the education of Retired NFL Football Players regarding the NFL’s medical and disability programs and other educational programs and initiatives.

The Third Circuit’s upholding of these settlement rules makes strides towards concluding the controversial cases over retired NFL payers who suffer neurological damage. For years, critics have argued that the NFL has purposely lied to players about the connection between football and neurological damage.

In 2011 75 former NFL players filed suit against the NFL for suffered neurological damage. Two of those suits led to a $1 billion settlement.

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