clear
Sunday December 10th, 2017 10:49PM
1:33PM ( 9 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Supreme Court leaves $1B NFL concussion settlement in place

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the final two challenges to the estimated $1 billion settlement between the NFL and thousands of its former players who have been diagnosed with brain injuries linked to repeated concussions. Players who already have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or dementia could begin receiving payments in 90 to 120 days.

"This is a historical moment for the retired player community who, in the face of great adversity, took on the NFL," said attorney Christopher Seeger, who represented the class of more than 20,000 former NFL players now eligible for payments for the next 65 years.

"Despite the difficult health situations retired players face today, and that many more will unfortunately face in the future, they can have peace of mind knowing that this settlement's benefits will finally become available to them and will last for decades to come."

The league has estimated that 6,000 former players — or nearly three in 10 — could develop Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia. Payments could be as high as $5 million for those with Lou Gehrig's disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; the average payout is expected to be closer to $190,000.

Seeger said more than 11,000 have pre-registered for benefits.

"We will make sure that every single eligible retired player takes advantage of this settlement's benefits," he told reporters in a conference call. "We will be undertaking a massive education effort to ensure that all former NFL players know about the settlement's benefits and understand how to file a claim."

The class-action lawsuit filed in Philadelphia accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the link between concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease that has been found in dozens of former players after their deaths. Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody approved the deal last year after twice sending it back to lawyers over concerns the fund might run out.

The deal was upheld by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April.

"We must hesitate before rejecting that bargain based on an unsupported hope that sending the parties back to the negotiating table would lead to a better deal," Judge Thomas L. Ambro wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel that affirmed the settlement.

But two separate petitions — one from the family of late Buffalo Bills fullback Cookie Gilchrist, and the other from a group of 31 players that included including 1996 Super Bowl MVP Larry Brown and Hall of Famer Charles Haley — asked the nation's highest court to stop the settlement. Their requests for a Supreme Court hearing were rejected without comment from the justices on Monday.

The NFL admitted no fault as part of the settlement, though a league official did acknowledge during congressional testimony that there is a link between football and CTE. The deal avoids the need for a trial and means the NFL may never have to disclose what it knew and when about the risks and treatment of repeated concussions.

Still, Seeger said, much progress has been made.

"When this lawsuit was first filed, discussions over concussions and player safety in the NFL were rare, and holding the NFL accountable seemed almost impossible," Seeger said. "But with the help of these players, more and more attention is placed on the issue of safety and head injuries in sports. Those who had the courage to file suit and take on this cause deserve tremendous credit for what they have achieved."

In a statement, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league was pleased with the decision.

"We look forward to working with class counsel and Judge Brody to implement the settlement and provide the important benefits that our retired players and their families have been waiting to receive," McCarthy said.

Critics complained that the settlement approved by Brody does not cover future CTE cases. The lead negotiators said they instead set aside compensation for treatment for some CTE symptoms. That does not include the depression, aggression and mood swings reported by some former players who experienced repeated concussions.

Other payments are expected to be around $4 million for past CTE deaths and $3.5 million for advanced Alzheimer's disease. "They will not need to prove that their diagnosis is the result of NFL football to receive an award," Seeger said.

Players' lawyers who negotiated the deal with the NFL — and stand to split $112 million in fees — say the settlement will help families get needed financial awards or medical testing that might take years if the case went to trial.

Ambro agreed.

"Compensation for players who are coping with these symptoms now is surely preferable to waiting until they die to pay their estates for a CTE diagnosis," the judge wrote.

Seeger closed his comments by thanking former New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles fullback Kevin Turner, who was the lead plaintiff in the litigation. Researchers announced last month that Turner suffered from CTE to a degree that they had not seen for an athlete who died in his 40s.

"It's really important that people understand that without the commitment that Kevin made, it wouldn't be possible to get where we are," Seeger said. "I end this on somewhat of a sad note that Kevin couldn't be here to see this."

___

AP NFL websites: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Health - Senior Health
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Revelers say goodbye to a year of conflicts, deadly violence
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and celebrity deaths
11:58PM ( 9 months ago )
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson, The Rematch
11:31PM ( 9 months ago )
With Ohio State shutout, Clemson earns another shot at 'Bama
Clemson's redemption: By shutting out Ohio State, the Tigers earn another shot at 'Bama
11:25PM ( 9 months ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Alabama 7-point favorite over Clemson in CFP Finals
Alabama is a seven-point favorite against Clemson in a College Football Playoff championship game rematch, according to gambling odds website Pregame.com
10:38PM ( 9 months ago )
Harden's has triple-double, career-high 53 in win over NY
James Harden scored a career-high 53 points with a season-best 16 rebounds and 17 assists for his second straight triple-double to lead the Houston Rockets over the short-handed New York Knicks 129-122 on Saturday night
10:38PM ( 9 months ago )
The Latest: Clemson's Heugel misses short field goal
The Latest: Clemson kicker Greg Huegel has missed a 31-yard field goal after Ohio State nearly jumped offside
9:18PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Clemson wins coin toss, defers to Ohio State
The Latest: Clemson has won the coin toss at the Fiesta Bowl and deferred to Ohio State
7:12PM ( 9 months ago )
The Latest: Fiesta Bowl has a Buckeye-heavy crowd
The Latest: Ohio State fans have come out strong for the Fiesta Bowl
7:03PM ( 9 months ago )
Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook declares for NFL draft
Florida State running back Dalvin Cook has announced he will enter the NFL draft, less than 24 hours after the Seminoles defeated Michigan in the Orange Bowl
3:06PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Online Football
Trump says he doesn't trust computers as he rings in 2017
President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private
10:46PM ( 9 months ago )
New UN chief wants consensus but faces antagonistic Trump
Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk
9:39PM ( 9 months ago )
Trump ditches media for golf game, offers New Year's wishes
President-elect Donald Trump has ditched his press pool once again, traveling to play golf at one of his clubs without a pool of journalists on hand to ensure the public has knowledge of his whereabouts
3:58PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Rural New Mexico exports mentoring model for physicians
A mentoring program for physicians in rural areas is being tapped by the federal government to expand access to specialized care
1:41PM ( 9 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' defense, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers will meet next week to forge a common strategy to stop Republicans from destroying his signature health care law
2:43PM ( 9 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' huddle, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama will strategize next week with Democratic lawmakers about how to prevent Republicans from destroying his Affordable Care Act
1:36PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Health
Oklahoma to require restroom signs in anti-abortion effort
Oklahoma will force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services as part of an effort to reduce the number of abortions
3:57PM ( 9 months ago )
Oklahoma may require restroom signs in anti-abortion effort
Oklahoma will force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services as part of an effort to reduce the number of abortions
11:17AM ( 9 months ago )
Supreme Court leaves $1B NFL concussion settlement in place
The Supreme Court has rejected challenges to the estimated $1 billion plan by the NFL to settle thousands of concussion lawsuits filed by former players
8:42PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
Ryan touts GOP tax plan during visit to Maryland factory
House Speaker Paul Ryan says easing taxes on manufacturers and other businesses is critical to helping America remain competitive in an increasingly global economy
6:09PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Suddenly, White House and NRA open to (a little) gun control
The White House, National Rifle Association and top congressional Republicans have agreed on a need to consider regulation of devices that can effectively convert semi-automatic rifles to mimic fully automated weapons
6:07PM ( 30 minutes ago )
IS suspected in Niger attack that killed 3 US forces
U.S. officials say Islamic State-linked militants may have been responsible for the ambush in southwestern Niger that killed three U.S. Army special operations commandos and several local Niger forces
6:06PM ( 32 minutes ago )
UN ending 13-year military peacekeeping mission in Haiti
A U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti that has helped maintain order through 13 years of political turmoil and catastrophe is coming to an end
6:01PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Arkansas judge barred from execution cases sues high court
An Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after blocking the use of a lethal injection drug is suing the state's highest court for prohibiting him from considering any execution-related cases
5:55PM ( 43 minutes ago )