Over the past year, many headlines were made regarding the thousands of former NFL players who filed suit against the league. The claims made by players are widespread, but all stem around league actions which increased concussions for players and otherwise led to the athletes suffering long-term harm.
The case took a new turn in recent weeks with an apparent settlement between the league and roughly 4,500 players who were part of the initial matter. Multiple sources reported on a $765 million settlement. The money will mostly go to aid in the recovery of injured former players with some of the settlement earmarked for education and prevention efforts.
Some assume that this proposed settlement will end the matter. But that assumption is a bit premature. Other athletes still remain and future actions are not out of the question. In fact, one was just filed last week.
Much Left to Discover
For one thing, under the proposed settlement, the NFL was not required to admit guilt or any responsibility. In addition, because of the end to this specific matter, there may be much more information regarding the past policies and actions of the league regarding player safety that is yet to be made public. In short, this may not be over. More players may come forward and seek out legal representation and more details may emerge.
Our brain injury team at Levin & Perconti know that, like in many other settings, these actions have two purposes–providing redress for those hurt by the NFL’s actions and in need of support as well as incentivizing real changes that can make football safer in the future.
As a founding member of our firm, John J. Perconti recently noted, “NFL players have been subjected to repeat brain injuries, pre-disposing each player to concussion-related syndrome which can contribute to cause early dementia.”
These are not merely “inconvenient” injuries, but very serious ramifications that can affect players for the rest of their lives and in many cases contribute to premature death. It may be easy for viewers to allow favorite players to fade from their memory following retirement. But the athletes themselves and their families must deal with the ramifications for decades. Considering that the average professional playing career is relatively short, it is simply unacceptable for the league to engage in practices which unnecessarily lead to long-term player harm.
One need only have watched this week’s games to understand how serious an issue concussions in the NFL remain. As a Star Gazette story analyzed this week, several players were knocked out of games on Sunday with concussions caused by, apparently-illegal head to head hits. Yet, in virtually each case no penalty was called during the contest. It is easy to argue that the apparent “culture shift’ that has taken place in the sport with regard to these head injuries remains illusory.
It is critical that those who seek more accountability from the NFL not be afraid to take action. Our injury attorney team is committed to assisted also those harmed unnecessarily. As Attorney Perconti explained, “Levin & Perconti has represented numerous clients with brain injuries and has represented hundreds of nursing home residents diagnosed with dementia. We understand this disease process and its long lasting life altering effects.”
See Other Blog Posts: