Former National Football League (NFL) players regularly experience traumatic injuries as a result of their participation, including cerebral concussions. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury caused by forced trauma to the head. Most concussion injuries occur without the loss of consciousness, yet the condition still poses a risk of serious brain damage—particularly when the condition is left untreated. Those who have sustained concussion-related injuries are eligible for compensation to assist with medical treatment costs and other financial damages caused by their play through the NFL. Parties eligible for lawsuits include:
- All living NFL players who have retired, formally or informally, from the NFL or any Member Club, including the American Football League, World League of American Football, NFL Europe League, and NF Europa League; or
- Players who were formally on a preseason, regular season, or postseason roster of any of the above leagues prior to the Preliminary Approval and Class Certification Order; or
- A representative who has obtained through a judicial body or other official of competent jurisdiction under applicable state law the authority to act on behalf of a deceased or legally incapacitated NFL player(s) who are now retired; and/or
- Spouses, parents and/or children who are dependents of a retired NFL player or deceased player who has suffered a qualifying condition.
There are two subclasses of players who may also be eligible for compensation under the settlement:
- Subclass 1: Retired NFL players who were not yet diagnosed with a qualifying diagnosis at the time of the Preliminary Approval and Class Certification.
- Subclass 2: Retired NFL players who were diagnosed with a qualifying diagnosis prior to the date of the Preliminary Approval and Class Certification Order, but have passed away prior to the date of the Preliminary Approval and Class Certification Order with an ultimate post-mortem diagnosis of CTE.
To be eligible, players can no longer be under contract with a Member Club or be seeking active employment as players with any Member Club. This includes being signed to a roster or signed to any practice squad, developmental squad or taxi squad of a Member Club. For former players who have not yet demonstrated symptoms of CTE, but are nevertheless concerned about the latent development of this disease, a medical monitoring claim is available and can be converted to a suit for personal injuries should such a condition unfortunately develop in the future.
CTE causes the buildup of a large amount of tau protein in brain tissue that thereafter interferes with brain cells and skews communication with the rest of the body.
Symptoms of CTE include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic headaches
- Memory loss
- Changes in vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Hearing loss
- Mood changes
- Alzheimer’s disease
A $765 million settlement was announced in April 2015 on behalf of approximately 4,500 former NFL players who alleged concussion-related injuries as a result of their NFL career. The lawsuits assert that the NFL concealed the chronic cumulative effects of concussions and minimized the need for recuperative treatment.
Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to the representation of current and former NFL players who have suffered CTE symptoms. If you or someone you love has suffered these symptoms, please contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling our office at (800) 251-6990.