Verdicts & Settlements

Federal judge urges retired NFL players to sign up for concussion settlement

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NFL football

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A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Wednesday urged NFL retirees to register for a concussion settlement with an estimated value of $1 billion.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody spoke during a status conference that was live-streamed from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.), the Associated Press and the Philadelphia Inquirer report.

The settlement resolves lawsuits filed on behalf of NFL players who sustained head injuries that caused or could cause neurological problems. The suit had claimed the NFL covered up evidence about the effects of concussions.

The deadline to register is Aug. 7. About 22,000 retired players are encouraged to get a baseline neurological test.

Plaintiffs could begin receiving checks as early as this summer in a settlement program lasting 65 years. The awards covers amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, death with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Currently CTE can only be diagnosed with an autopsy. The settlement does not currently cover future cases of CTE, but Brody has urged the parties to revisit the issue with scientific advancements.

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the settlement last year, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case in December.

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