An NFL settlement with the over 4,500 former players who filed the concussion-related lawsuits against the league was announced today. According to USA Today on Aug. 29, the settlement will pay $765 million to fund medical exams, as well as compensation and medical research funding.
The settlement was announced by a federal judge working the case. Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia said the agreement came in a mediation ordered by the courts and she will approve it at a later date.
The plaintiffs in the case included over 4,500 former NFL players, including 10 who are in the Hall of Fame. Notable names included former Dallas Cowboys’ star Tony Dorsett, Chicago Bears legend Jim McMahon and the family of Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012.
The post-death examinations of players like Seau proved there was brain damage that might have been caused from their playing days. The NFL has denied any wrongdoing throughout the lawsuits and said that safety was always their top priority.
One downfall to the NFL settlement is that the league will not have to disclose their internal files concerning what they knew about the effects of concussions and how long they might have known about the long-term dangers. Some have accused the NFL of covering up their findings for decades, while they continued to make more money while not properly protecting their player’s safety and health.
Over 200 separate lawsuits were filed against the NFL, but the league asked that all the suits be dismissed because the collective bargaining agreements meant that an arbitrator should decide cases like this. Both sides said that they would comply with the judge’s order and made no further comments on the case.