Federal appeals court upholds NFL concussion settlement

Monday April 18th, 2016

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The NFL’s settlement with former players over the dangers of concussions was upheld Monday by the U.S. Third Circuit court of appeals. 

The appeal was filed last August over a variety of concerns, including that the settlement did not adequately cover CTE.

The players who raised concerns about the settlement “risk making the perfect the enemy of the good,” the court ruled. “This settlement will provide nearly $1 billion in value to the class of retired players.”

The original settlement was approved by a federal judge last April. Because the level of compensation depends on the recipients’ age and NFL experience, the average payment is expected to be $190,000. 

Players diagnosed with ALS can receive a maximum of $5 million in compensation. Family members of players diagnosed with CTE can receive up to $4 million. Those with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are eligible to receive up to $3.5 million. Players with neurocognitive impairment can receive up to $3 million. 

Last month, NFL senior vice president for health and safety Jeff Miller acknowledged during a congressional roundtable that there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders

The court addressed Miller’s statement in its ruling, saying, “The NFL’s statement is an important development because it is the first time, as far as we can tell, that the NFL acknowledged a connection between football and CTE. On the other hand, the NFL is now conceding something already known.”

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