Thousands of former football players and their families reached a settlement with the National Football League on Thursday in a lawsuit that put concussions, and their impact on the brain, under the microscope.
The deal calls for the NFL to pay $765 million to fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation, medical research for retired NFL players and their families, and litigation expenses, according to a court document filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
The agreement still needs to be approved by the judge assigned to the case, which involved more than 4,500 plaintiffs.
“It’s been a struggle to get to this point, but today I will say I’m very proud that the NFL has decided to stand up for all the former players who are suffering from brain injuries,” Kevin Turner, a former NFL running back who has been diagnosed with ALS, said during a teleconference.
“Today is so important for those who are … hurting. This will bring help for them today.”
The case mediator, former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips, called it “a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football.”
“My hope is that any players or ex-players that are suffering, or begin to suffer, from symptoms of dementia, will be taken care of in a respectable manner through this settlement,” said Chris Dronett, one of the plaintiffs, whose husband Shane Dronett committed suicide in 2009 at age 38.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education