Friday, September 6, 2013

NFL Reaches Settlement Regarding Head Injuries


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

High school and college football is well underway and the National Football League kicked off last night with a huge game between the Denver Broncos and the Superbowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Turn on ESPN or any local sports radio program and you will hear the pundits making their playoff predictions. (And most of them have our Houston Texans going deep into the post-season!) You likely also will hear them discussing a much more serious topic than expected wins and losses. Instead, you may be hearing your favorite host discussing the question of what did the NFL know about the impact of concussions and other such head injuries and when did they know it.

Last week, the NFL reached a tentative agreement with retired players that, assuming all goes smoothly with approval, will mean $765 million in payments to players and/or their families, as well as for medical research and exams. This is the conclusion of a lawsuit involving more than 4500 former players and the primary contention that brain injuries sustained on the football field have contributed to diagnoses of ALS, Parkinsons, dementia, and depression and even led to suicides, most recently and perhaps most prolifically of superstar linebacker Junior Seau.

The money is to be distributed over the next twenty years, with at least half of it designated to be given within the next three years. The amount received by each player will depend on his diagnosis and current state of health.

Perhaps you do not have a NFL contract and put on shoulder pads and a helmet every Sunday. But, many of you still face risks at your workplace. Machinery accidents, slip and falls, lifting or bending injuries . . . these examples and others can lead to permament impairments, lost time from work and other damages for which you are entitled financial relief.

If you have been hurt at work, please contact one of the workers' compensation attorneys at Bertolino LLP. We will advocate aggressively on your behalf to get you the settlement you deserve.

What do you think of this settlement? Is the payout fair? Do you think, considering the annual profits made by the NFL, the total figure should have been higher?

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