Skip to main content

Supreme Court asked to reject $1 billion NFL concussion settlement

Supreme Court asked to block $1 billion NFL concussion settlement.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Another petition was filed asking the United States Supreme Court to throw out a $1 billion settlement of NFL concussion lawsuits, citing treatment of current brain injuries versus future ones.

Former NFL players who filed the petition on Monday say that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) diagnosed before April 2015 can bring $4 million while future diagnoses of CTE aren’t compensated. The April 2015 cutoff date was set in an attempt to avoid incentivizing suicides.

Payouts from the settlement will be delayed for at least a few months after the family of a former player filed a last-second appeal last month.

According to the petition, the family of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who died in 2011, can seek the possible $4 million award, but the family of former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, who died in July 2015, can't. Both players were found to have CTE after their deaths.

"Seeking to head off a tsunami of future claims,” Lawyer Deepak Gupta, who represents the 31 players named in the petition, said, “the NFL pushed for a global settlement of all current and future claims — while compensating only current CTE claims.”

In July 2014, a federal judge granted preliminary approval to the National Football League's $765 million settlement, after 4,500 ex-players filed the lawsuit against the league claiming the NFL hid known concussion risks, leading to high rates of dementia, depression and even suicides.

That amount was upped to $1 billion with the settlement covering more than 20,000 retired players for the next 65 years. A federal appeals court in June unanimously upheld the deal, with the NFL admitting no fault.

The settlement does not cover future cases of CTE, but does cover Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and dementia.

- Scooby Axson