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NFL settles $857 million concussion lawsuit


NFL settles $857 million concussion lawsuit

How much is a blow to the head worth? It's a question which has perplexed elite sports for decades, particularly as contact sports become more intense and the risk to its participants increases.

In a move which has sports bodies around the world watching closely, America's peak football body has reached a settlement which gives an answer to that question: three quarters of a billion dollars.

The National Football League (NFL) has reached a tentative US$765 million ($857 million) settlement over concussion-related brain injuries in which it agrees to compensate those affected by injuries and invest in medical research.

More than 4500 former athletes, some suffering from concussion-related injuries, had sued the NFL claiming they had either concealed the risks associated with concussion, or had sent injured players back out to play.

The settlement has come after several months of mediation between the two groups. It still has to be approved by a federal judge.

Under the settlement, all former NFL players are eligible to seek compensation based on their age, condition and the number of years they played. Players currently in the NFL are not covered by the settlement.

US$675 million of the settlement will be directly allocated to former players, or their families, who have suffered "cognitive injury"

The balance will be spent on medical research and healthcare costs for former players who are still undergoing medical examinations.

The settlement effectively means the issue won't be tested in court - a move which many observers felt would place immense pressure on competitive sport as its policies and procedures were tested legally.

"It's more important that the players have finality, that they're vindicated," Philadelphia-based lawyer Sol Weiss said on Thursday.



References and further information

This article was originally produced by The Age.


To view the rest of the article visit The Age website


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