The NFL and Players Settle Concussion lawsuit

Allison Joyce

The NFL has apparently agreed to a $765 million settlement with the 1,500 players who had filed suit against the league over allegations of the League hiding the long term affects of concussions.

While U.S. District Judge Anita Brody who is presiding over the trial must still formally approve the terms of the settlement, and the details have not been fully disclosed to the public, it appears this issue is close to being resolved for the League. However, the settlement specifically does NOT include the equipment manufacturer Riddell or its non-NFL-related co-defendants. According to the Chicago Tribune, the insurers for the NFL and its players had denied any obligation related to this case; it can be assumed the insurers of the Riddell, a company which holds the license to supply equipment to the NFL, will take a similar position and thus an additional settlement may be forthcoming.

The mediator appointed by Judge Brody to attempt a settlement, Judge Layn Phillips was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying:

"This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football," said Judge Phillips. "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."

On its website, NFL.com published the text of the order issued by Judge Brody that outlines the settlement. While there is currently no breakdown on how much of the settlement will be paid to the players, money is also earmarked for medical exams and a program of medical research for retired NFL players and their families. In addition, the NFL will pay the plaintiffs court-approved attorneys' fees.

Approximately 1,500 former and current players are party to the lawsuit against the NFL; the 4,500 number of plaintiffs referenced by the NFL and the general media includes many family members of each player/plaintiff.

From analysis performed in May 2012 for a BTSC FanPost , "Part I - The Potential Economic Impact on the NFL and its Team Owners" it appears the NFL will be paying $100,000 per charge or $500,000 per player, although the final dollar amount the players (or their families) receive has yet to be disclosed, since Judge Brody's announcement referenced specific uses for the settlement award.

The class-action suit against the NFL (and four other defendants) was formed after 68 separate suits were filed over the past several years, and contained five specific charges against the League. Based on the current projected revenue of the NFL of $4.68 billion, this settlement represents 16 percent of the NFL's annual revenue (the NFLPA under the new CBA receives 48% of all revenues or $4.32 billion which when added to the $4.68 billion equates to the $9 billion often cited by the media as the NFL's total revenue).

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