The class action involving National Football League players is nearing the final playout, writes personal injury attorney
Evan I Fetterman. The approval of a preliminary settlement agreement is currently under the scrutiny of a federal judge.
Will it mean the end of the case?
A massive class action lawsuit that has put former players and the
National Football League on opposing teams is in the fourth quarter of play. Approval of a preliminary settlement
agreement recently under scrutiny by a federal judge is perhaps bring the case to an end.
A class of over 4,500 former players filed the suit just days before professional
football’s regular season kick off in 2013. The most recent phase of the
litigation involved months of court ordered mediation and other negotiations
between the parties.
Serious Injuries Alleged
Retired players brought the suit after experiencing serious health
conditions that they allege came from their careers on the gridiron. Among the
ailments said to be linked to wear and tear on the field include Alzheimer’s,
depression, and dementia. Citing bad faith conduct as part of the cause of
their health issues, the plaintiff’s sought redress in court.
At the heart of the matter is a condition known as Chronic traumatic
encephalopathy, or CTE. It has come to be known that CTE can be traced to
concussion-related brain damage, and can bring about diagnosis of ALS and
Parkinson’s disease, as well as many others.
Players assert that season after season enduring concussions and heavy impact on the
field brought about their present medical issues. Furthermore, plaintiff said
the NFL was not forthcoming about the dangers of concussions in the long-term
and would put injured players back in the game before it was safe to do so.
Additionally, players claimed that the NFL promoted and exploited the violence
of the game for profit. For their part, the National Football League maintained
that safety was a foremost concern in the organization.
Hall of Fame Plaintiffs
Among the injured players bringing suit were former star quarterback Jim McMahon who
brought the Chicago Bears to a Superbowl victory in 1985. Hall of Famer and
Rookie of the Year Tony Dorsett, who started his career with the Cowboys, is
also a class member. The family of Junior Seau, whose death by suicide has been linked to his injuries, also joined the
The settlement, as it stands now, offers plaintiffs monetary damages paid annually
over 65 years. A planned damage cap of approximately $775 million was removed
by the federal judge after concerns that the necessary amount would exceed the
cap. Presently, there is no maximum payout limit written into the potential
Seventy-five million dollars would go to screening all retired players to see if they have
suffered harm. After that, all eligible players would receive between $1.5 and
$5 million for treatment and compensation for injury.
However,another hearing to review the fairness of the agreement is scheduled for November.
Should the final agreement be ok’d, former players would be able to register
for their portion.