In recent years, a string of former NFL players and other athletes who suffered concussions have been diagnosed after their deaths with CTE, including Junior Seau and Ray Easterling, who both committed suicide.
In August, the NFL agreed to pay approximately $765 million to settle lawsuits filed by more than 4,500 former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related health problems they say were caused by playing football. The settlement, subject to approval by a federal judge Philadelphia, would apply to all past NFL players and spouses of those who are deceased.
Plaintiff’s attorneys say 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.
About 19,000 retired players would be eligible to seek awards or medical testing, but current players are not part of the deal. The settlement does not include an admission from the NFL that it hid information from players about head injuries.
At the time, the settlement announcement appeared to remove a major legal and financial threat hanging over the NFL. But if too many former players opt out, the deal could fall apart.