The NFL reached a revised settlement agreement on concussion-related lawsuits on Wednesday. The new agreement removes a $675 million cap on damages that are concussion related.
The revised agreement was filed in federal court in Philadelphia. It is subject to approval by a federal judge.In addition to removing the cap, the new settlement also eliminates the provision that prohibited anyone who gets concussion damages from the NFL from suing the NCAA or other amateur football leagues. More than 4,500 former players have filed suit against the file, accusing the league of fraud when it comes to concussions. Last August a $765 million settlement was reached. That settlement included $675 million for compensatory claims, $75 million for baseline testing, and $10 million for research and education, according to the Associated Press. The player’s lawyers would get paid $112 million by the NFL for a total payout of $870 million.
"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," Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "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."
The new settlement will last at least 65 years. It will cover retired players who develop Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia, and other neurological problems that are believed to be caused by concussions that they suffered while they were playing. The NFL must pay all valid claims and the award fund is no longer set at $675 million, according to USA Today.
Both sides believe that the NFL won’t spend more than $675 million on damage claims. The league will have the right to appeal decisions. It will be interesting to see if this new settlement will be approved, as the original settlement was rejected in January.