The National Football League wants to settle a lawsuit with players seeking compensation for expenses related to concussions. The settlement has been agreed upon by the NFL and more than 4,500 players, but it still has to be approved by a judge. The approval of the settlement brings to a close a series of concussion related cases that have harmed the sporting body’s reputation in recent years.
According to the plaintiffs in the case, many former players suffer from neurological or other conditions that can be traced back to concussions suffered on the field during their time playing football at the highest level. The NFL has denied any wrong-doing in relation to concussions, and the terms of this settlement mean that the body will likely not have to release documents detailing its knowledge of concussion related problems in the past.
NFL defensive line
The NFL has held throughout the proceedings that it had little responsibility for the health of the players who are now charging them with fault, though the NFL maintained that safety was a top priority. That responsibility lies with the individual teams and their medical staff, according to the defense put forward by the NFL. The NFL’s defense team had asked that the case be dismissed and the complaints be moved to arbitration.
This settlement likely involves no admission of guilt from the NFL. That means that it sets little legal precedent for other cases that might come forth relating to player condition, and the effects of the game on long term health. The NFL concussion case might end with the approval of this settlement by the judge, but it likely does not end the drawn out battle between players and the league on various issues.
NFL concussion plaintiffs
The plaintiffs in this case include representatives of ten members of the NFL Hall of Fame according to the Associated Press. The family of Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, were also plaintiffs in the case.
The $765 million settlement will go to medical treatment for individual players, as well as compensation and funding for research into concussions. According to the associated press, the NFL’s unreleased research on concussions will not have to be released under the terms of this settlement.