The NFL and the retired players have reached a proposed settlement of the NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation.
Under the proposed settlement, which the Court (Hon. Anita B. Brody) must analyze for fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy, the NFL has agreed to pay close to $800 million to the retired NFL players and their families, in addition to any NFL benefits they have received or will receive in the future.
The settlement includes a medical testing program (called the Baseline Assessment Program or BAP) which is independent of the NFL and financed by the proposed settlement. It is for all retired NFL players and provides neurological medical attention and care to retired players.
Under the BAP, all retired players are eligible to visit an approved health care provider, who will assess them medically. Players who receive abnormal findings will receive a medical benefit card for further medical care and attention.
The proposed compensation program (called the Monetary Award Fund or MAF) is independent of the NFL and financed by the proposed settlement. The MAF is designed to compensate retired players who have already been diagnosed or will be diagnosed in the future with the severe neurological conditions ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or a severe neuro-cognitive deficit (dementia). It will also compensate families of former players who have died from those diseases or have died with an autopsy that revealed CTE.
Players diagnosed with a compensable injury will receive a cash payment from the MAF. The amount of every cash payment under the MAF will be based on several factors: (a) the severity of the injury, (b) the age of the player at the time the injury is diagnosed, and (c) the number of years the player played in the NFL.
Medical care under the BAP and awards under the MAF are independent from any other benefit the NFL provides under the Collective Bargaining Agreements, including but not limited to disability and line of duty. There will be no deductions from any award under the MAF based on other NFL benefits a player has received or will receive in the future.
No legal issues will limit retired players from receiving benefits. There will be no consideration of statute of limitations issues, and no need for anyone to provide proof of concussions or head injuries. Legal preemption, which is the subject of the NFL’s pending Motion to Dismiss, has no effect on a former player’s ability to receive benefits under the proposed settlement.
The Court will be setting dates for the preliminary approval and final approval of the proposed settlement. If approved timely, benefits under the BAP and MAF should be available sometime in 2014. Click here for the court order.