More than 200 opt out of NFL concussion settlement

Tuesday November 4th, 2014

More than 200 former National Football League players or their families opted out of the proposed $765 million concussion settlement, reports the Associated Press.

A total of 220 people -- 196 former players, 22 relatives of retirees and two who went unclassified -- elected to not take part of the settlement. Players had until Oct. 14 to opt out of the deal and 14 more individuals could not opt out because they filed their paperwork too late.

Overall, less than 1 percent of the retirees that are covered by the deal decided not to accept the deal.

More than 5,000 ex-players originally sued the league, saying they hid the dangers of head injuries. The players and their families who opted out of the settlement have the option of suing the league individually, but would have to show any brain injuries they have resulted from playing in the NFL.

In September, the family of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau rejected the concussion settlement saying they will pursue a lawsuit against the NFL.  

Those players who have concerns about the proposed settlement can attend a fairness hearing Nov. 19 in Philadelphia, with a federal judge taking written objections through Dec. 11.

The NFL agreed to pay at least $765 million to settle the case, with designs on the settlement lasting at least 65 years. It will cover retired players who develop any neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions while playing football.

"With over 99 percent participation, it is clear the retired player community resoundingly supports this settlement," lead plaintiffs' attorneys Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss said in a statement. "Over the last several months, we have heard from countless retired players who are in dire need of these benefits, as well as those who take comfort in the long-term protections the settlement provides."

According to the report, the average award for Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia is expected to be around $190,000. It could reach $5 million in severe cases, with an estimated 6,000 men expected to qualify for an award.

- Scooby Axson

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