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NFL concussion settlement registration ends August 7

August 5, 2017

Any former National Football League players seeking benefits from the league’s $1 billion settlement fund must register by Monday, lawyers announced Aug. 4.

Thus far, more than 18,400 former NFL players and associated claimants—out of approximately 21,000 class members—have registered for the NFL settlement ahead of the deadline. All class members have to register by the Monday deadline to be eligible for benefits, including the baseline assessment or cash award.

“This response from former NFL players is tremendous, but we want to make sure all class members register—even those who may feel healthy today—so they can be eligible for the benefits they fought for and deserve,” Christopher Seeger, co-lead class counsel for the retired NFL players, said in a statement Aug. 4.

Class members are encouraged to register at the settlement’s website or by calling 1-855-887-3485.

The agreement provides payment for retired players diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only be diagnosed by an autopsy; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; and dementia. In addition to monetary compensation, the NFL agreed to provide brain injury testing to players and provide payments to fund the education of concussion and sports-related brain injuries.

The settlement was previously contested by a faction of retired players unhappy with the terms. They took issue with the neurological science used to form the basis of the settlement, as well as the handling of discovery by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Specifically, they argued that there wasn’t adequate coverage for CTE.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the settlement last year, and with the U.S. Supreme Court taking a pass on review of the case, the settlement was cemented.

Despite those players’ objections, Third Circuit Judge Thomas L. Ambro wrote in the court’s opinion that there’s no such thing as a perfect settlement.

The objectors “aim to ensure that the claims of retired players are not given up in exchange for anything less than a generous settlement agreement negotiated by very able representatives,” Ambro said. “But they risk making the perfect the enemy of the good. This settlement will provide nearly $1 billion in value to the class of retired players. It is a testament to the players, researchers, and advocates who have worked to expose the true human costs of a sport so many love. Though not perfect, it is fair.”


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