​$765 Million Concussion Delayed By Judge Over Funds​​

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January 15, 2021

A $765 million concussion suit has been delayed by a federal judge, questioning if there’s enough money in the NFL to cover 20,000 retired players. On Jan. 15, San Jose Mercury News reported that the concussion lawsuit was place on hold.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody denied preliminary approval of the plan on Tuesday in Philadelphia because she’s worried the money could run out sooner than expected. She also raised concerns that anyone who gets funds from the NFL would be barred from suing the NCAA or other amateur football leagues.

“I am primarily concerned that not all retired NFL football players who ultimately receive a qualifying diagnosis or their (families) … will be paid,” the judge wrote.

The $765 Million concussion settlement, negotiated over several months, is designed to last at least 65 years.

The awards would vary based on an ex-player’s age and diagnosis. A younger retiree with Lou Gehrig’s disease would get $5 million, those with serious dementia cases would get $3 million, and an 80-year-old with early dementia would get $25,000. Retirees without symptoms would get baseline screening and follow-up care if needed.

“Even if only 10 percent of retired NFL football players eventually receive a qualifying diagnosis,” the judge wrote, “it is difficult to see how the Monetary Award Fund would have the funds available over its life span to pay all claimants at these significant award levels.”

She asked for more raw financial data before scheduling a fairness hearing this year, when objectors can question the plan. The objectors could later decide to opt out of it.

Some critics said the NFL, with more than $9 billion in annual revenue, was getting away lightly. However, lawyers for the players said they would face huge challenges just to get the $765 Million concussion case to trial. They would have to prove the injuries were linked to the players’ NFL service and should not be handled through league arbitration. They could end up with nothing.