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Judge approves concussion settlement

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


A federal judge on Monday granted preliminary approval to a landmark deal that would compensate thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia came about two weeks after the NFL agreed to remove a $675 million cap on damages. Brody had previously questioned whether that would be enough money to pay all claims.

"A class action settlement that offers prompt relief is superior to the likely alternative — years of expensive, difficult, and uncertain litigation, with no assurance of recovery, while retired players' physical and mental conditions continue to deteriorate," Brody wrote.

More than 4,500 former players have filed suit, some accusing the league of fraud for its handling of concussions. They include former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett and Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers from dementia.

The settlement is designed to last at least 65 years and give $1 million or more to retirees who develop Lou Gehrig's disease and other profound neurological problems.

Rich Miano, who has been a representative of NFL players in the suit, lauded the new settlement, saying that "while it wasn't exactly what we wanted or what the NFL thought they could settle for, it will take care of anybody that has a serious injury. That's something the first settlement, that was close-ended at $675 million, wasn't going to do."

Miano, a former UH defensive back who played a decade in the NFL, said, "One of the most significant things to come out of this lawsuit is the education, from youth sports all the way to pro sports, about preventing and dealing with concussions. That's something that would not have happened without this lawsuit."

He estimated that more than two dozen players with Hawaii ties are party to the suit.

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JPC wrote:
If it's as bad as they say ;why is it that college graduates did not know their bodies were being mangled and their heads could be injured. They played on their own free will, freedom for American citizens to choose! They were highly paid and this is what they groomed for all of their lives to play on Sundays on television.
on July 8,2014 | 07:18AM
CriticalReader wrote:
While all of this is setting up compensation and a safety net for the old vets, the youngsters (current pros, college players, high school and youth players - and their families) are increasingly losing any ability to lay any blame for long term problems on anyone but themselves. In fact, it would seem that as of today, football brain injury victims currently playing would have extremely limited options. It appears the suit against the NFL was based on the idea that the league knew there were substantial long term risks, but that the information was withheld from the players, and that they did not, therefore, understand the risks. Now, people know. Everyone knows. And, no doubt, the contracts of the pros and the waivers signed by pop warner parents do and will have detailed information about the possibility, if not probability that playing America's most popular game will lead to long term, life devestating disability. 2 dozen players with Hawaii ties joined the lawsuit against the NFL??? How many players with Hawaii ties PLAYED IN THE NFL??? What can we conclude about the percentage chance/probability that a future football player (not even an NFL PLAYER) with Hawaii ties will experience brain problems so severe they wish they could have joined in the players' settlement of 2014? Or, just didn't play?
on July 8,2014 | 09:57AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Football was not America's popular game until Television made it possible for up and coming children to enjoy and say "I can do what The Pittsburgh Steelers, The San Francisco 49ers, The Oakland Raiders, The Green Bay Packers, The New York Giants, The New England Patriots and The Denver Broncos have done": which is to "just win baby" !!!!
on July 8,2014 | 05:48PM
konag43 wrote:
these guys get paid big bucks millions of dollars to play and they know they can get hurt. now they want to stiff the nfl for more money because they threw their money around as it was water and now they don't have any left for their injuries the nfl should make them sign a waver in the future .
on July 8,2014 | 10:57AM