PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal judge says the NFL and more than 4,500 former players want to settle concussion-related lawsuits for $765 million.
The global settlement would fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation and medical research.
The plaintiffs include at least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett. They also include Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the family of Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year.
That goes to 4,500 plaintiffs, which, as pointed out by Peter King, works out to about $170,000 per player or their estate, in theory. We now have a price on brains. Though not all are created equal, Donovan McNabb.
But Mike Garafolo reports that it’s not quite that good for the plaintiffs. All retired players are eligible to apply for compensation if they can establish that they have brain damage as a result of playing football. So it’s actually less than $170,000 per player.
Albert Breer says that the payments for individual players cap at $5 million.
Also, Darren Rovell reports that it’s a 17-year payment plan. So, basically Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk says that this isn’t exactly a ton of money for the NFL:
Although $765 million is an enormous sum of money, but it’s also a sum of money that the NFL, which rakes in billions each year, can afford. Some of the most dire predictions said concussion litigation could bankrupt the league, but this is a settlement that the NFL can handle. The biggest question going forward may be whether the NFL can make changes to the game to keep players safe from brain injuries in the future.
And that’s the biggest question– did this just set a precedent going forward for the long-term effects of concussions and put a price on the brain? Obviously, the league is trying harder now to prevent them (or at least they say they are), but they’re still going to happen. How much of that, going forward, will the league legally be held accountable for, and how much of that will be attributed to football inherently being a dangerous sport?
Dan Gelston of the AP points out that a settlement likely means that the league won’t have to disclose what it knew about concussions and when.
Basically, this is an overall win for the NFL.
You can see the full press release after the jump.