- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Sen. Claire McCaskill to tackle sex assault at college next
- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
NFL set to pay more than $750M to settle lawsuits
In all, more than 4,500 retired players began suing the NFL two years ago, saying the league concealed what it knew about the long-term dangers of concussions and did not properly care for the head injuries that were long an accepted part of the game.
Under a tentative settlement announced Thursday, the NFL agreed to shell out more than three-quarters of a billion dollars, nearly all going to any former players _ not just those who went to court _ with dementia or other concussion-related health problems, even if the cause was not the very on-field violence that fueled professional football’s rise in popularity and profit.
The deal stipulates that it is not to be considered an admission of liability by the NFL.
“It’s a good day, because we’re getting help for those who need help,” Rypien told The Associated Press, “and a sad day, because we didn’t get this done earlier to help guys in the past.”
“I’m relieved; I don’t know about pleased. There are probably too many details to work through that we don’t all understand yet, quite frankly,” said Rypien, who has dealt with depression and difficulty remembering conversations. “But I’m relieved that both sides came together to protect the game we all love and help the players of the past and tomorrow. And to especially help those who need help right now, who have cognitive issues and those whose quality of life has been taken away.”
The settlement, unprecedented in sports, came after more than a year of discussions between the sides and two months of court-ordered mediation. Subject to approval by a federal judge, it came exactly a week before the first game of the 2013 season, removing a major legal and financial threat hanging over the sport.
U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia is expected to rule on the settlement in two to three months but said it “holds the prospect of avoiding lengthy, expensive and uncertain litigation, and of enhancing the game of football.”
The settlement applies to all past NFL players and spouses of those who are deceased, a group that could total more than 20,000, and will cost the league $765 million _ the vast majority of which would go to compensate retirees with certain neurological ailments _ plus plaintiffs’ attorney fees, which could top $100 million. It sets aside $75 million for medical exams and $10 million for medical research.
Individual payouts would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and $3 million for players with dementia, said lead plaintiffs’ lawyer Christopher Seeger.
“We got what we wanted, let’s put it that way,” Seeger said.
The NFL takes in revenues of more than $9 billion a year, a figure that will rise when new TV contracts start in 2014.
Commissioner Roger Goodell did not comment on the settlement.
“We thought it was critical to get more help to players and families who deserve it rather than spend many years and millions of dollars on litigation,” NFL Executive Vice President Jeffrey Pash Executive Vice President Jeffrey Pash said in a statement, the only comment issued by the league Thursday. “This is an important step that builds on the significant changes we’ve made in recent years to make the game safer.”
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- President Obama goes 'Between Two Ferns' to pitch Obamacare
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Hard-fought congressional election in Florida is seen as a bellwether
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again