For the past several years, the NFL has been in settlement negotiations with a class of over 5,000 players who allege the league misled them as to the effects of repeated traumatic head injuries. In recent news, according to one news report, the judge asked the parties to go back to the drawing board again earlier this month because the proposed $765 million settlement was insufficient in several ways.
While the settlement was approved by about 99% of the class of injured NFL players, the offer failed to adequately compensate those who suffered from CTE, a disease of the brain that is only diagnosable after death. For the families of these players who died with the disease, the settlement offered to pay them up to $4 million. However, for living players with the symptoms of CTE, the players stood to get nothing in the settlement.
The judge’s most recent order requests that the parties go back to the drawing board to include some form of “reasonable accommodation” for those players who cannot produce medical records supporting an existing and qualifying diagnosis. In other words, the judge wanted those players who may be suffering from CTE to be included in the settlement, one way or another.