Our Chicago class action lawyers watched with interest this week as the National Football League (NFL) settled a long-standing, multi-billion-dollar class action lawsuit with former players over concussions and other severe head injuries.
This lawsuit is noteworthy not only because it affects the 5,000 former NFL players — including the family of the late, great Junior Seau as well as Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure — who sued because they sustained head injuries or brain damage during the course of their careers, but also because it sets new legal precedent for professional sports leagues and class action settlements.
The two sides in this lawsuit had agreed two years ago on a $765 million settlement. But that deal was rejected by federal judge Anita Brody because it failed to address how players’ head trauma medical expenses would be covered in the future.
This week’s settlement for $1 billion was approved because it deletes the previous cap on total damages. This judgment will stand unless there are additional appeals in the case.
That could happen, considering that some former players are still dissatisfied with the outcome. Specifically, Time magazine reports that the settlement fails to recognize a particular degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only be diagnosed posthumously.
The family of Junior Seau has said that he suffered from this disease, and that it contributed to his 2012 suicide.
If you live in or around Chicago and have a vested interest in this or any other national class action lawsuit, please contact the lawyers at Markoff Leinberger online through this website or call our office directly at 1 (888) 517-9115.