NFL And Former Players Come To $765 Million Settlement In Concussions Lawsuit

The settlement likely means the NFL won’t have to disclose internal files about what they knew and when they knew it regarding concussion-linked brain problems.

1. The NFL will settle with 4,500 former players to resolve concussion-related lawsuits with a $765 million settlement that would fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation and medical research, a federal judge said Thursday.

The Sacramento Bee, Paul Kitagaki Jr. / AP

2. The NFL has denied wrongdoing but players say their problems stem from on-field concussions:


The plaintiffs include at least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett. They also include Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the family of Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year. Many former players with neurological conditions believe their problems stem from on-field concussions. The lawsuits accused the league of hiding known risks of concussions for decades to return players to games and protect its image.

3. In a win for the league, the deal likely means the NFL won’t have to disclose internal files about what they knew and when they knew it regarding concussion-linked brain problems, the Associated Press reports.

Elise Amendola / AP

Lawyers had been eager to learn about the workings of the league’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was led for more than a decade by a rheumatologist.

4. NFL players and other athletes who received concussions have been diagnosed after their deaths with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Mike Blake / Reuters

5. These former players include Junior Seau (below) and lead plaintiff Ray Easterling, who filed the first suit in Philadelphia in August 2011, but later committed suicide.

Brian Snyder / Reuters

The judge must still approve the deal, which comes after months of court-ordered mediation.

7. The news comes after a controversy over a PBS and ESPN investigative documentary called League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, which the league is not excited to see come to light.

PBS, Courtesy Rahoul Ghose / AP

The NFL pressured ESPN on the project and the network pulled out of the co-branded film saying it lacked editorial control and the branding wasn’t appropriate. Many have condemned the actions of ESPN.

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