The following story regarding the NFL Concussion Settlement was written by Rachel Graf of Law 360.
More than 18,400 former National Football League players or their relatives have registered to receive settlement benefits in multidistrict litigation over brain injuries sustained by now-retired players during their NFL careers, the players’ attorney said Friday.
Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP, co-lead class counsel for the retired NFL players, estimates the class includes about 21,000 former players, indicating that many have yet to register ahead of Monday’s deadline. The retired players must be registered to be eligible for benefits under the settlement, including monetary awards.
“This response from former NFL players is tremendous, but we want to make sure all class members register — even those who may feel healthy today — so they can be eligible for the benefits they fought for and deserve,” Seeger said in a statement.
A Pennsylvania federal court approved the settlement in 2015, and the agreement became final in January. The settlement includes an uncapped monetary fund for players who prove certain neurological diagnoses, a $75 million “baseline assessment program” that provides eligible retired players with neurological examinations, and a $10 million education fund to promote safety and injury prevention in youth football and inform retired players of their medical benefits under the collective bargaining agreement.
The amount of money retired players may receive will vary based on the severity of their injuries, ranging from a $1.5 million award for declines in cognitive functions to a $5 million award for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The fund will remain in place for 65 years during which registered players may receive an award.
The class includes football players who retired from the NFL before July 7, 2014, with a subclass of players who currently have no known injuries and a second subclass of players who are currently injured and immediately eligible for monetary relief.
Counsel for the NFL didn’t respond Friday to a request for comment.
The players are represented by Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP.
The NFL is represented by Brad S. Karp, Bruce Birenboim and Lynn B. Bayard of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP.
The case is In re: National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, case number 2:12-md-02323, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.