The National Football League has finally reached a settlement with over 4,500 players and their families. The proposed settlement is for concussion related lawsuits and is worth $765 million.
The 4,500 players filed against the NFL because they are seeking compensation for the health risks that they feel the NFL knew about and hid. They claim the League knew about high rates of dementia, depression, and even suicide,” according to Sports Illustrated.
At least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were involved in the suit. Former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett, Super Bowl winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the surviving family of Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide.
The NFL does not admit that it is liable or that the injuries are football caused according to the settlement’s terms. Senior U.S. District judge Anita Brody had ordered the negotiation between the two sides to take place. They will report back to her on Sep. 3. However, at this time, the proposed settlement will have the NFL paying almost $800 million for medical related expenses, including concussion related compensation and a program of medical research for the 4500 plaintiffs involved in the case.
The court appointed mediator, former U.S. District judge Layn Phillips, commented that this is a historic agreement that will entitle former NFL players who need and deserve compensation and medical help. She went on to laud the promotion of safety for football players at all levels. She commented, “Rather than litigate literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief and support where it is needed at a time when it is most needed. I am deeply grateful to Judge Brody for appointing me as mediator and offering me the opportunity to work on such an important and interesting matter.”