Over Easy: NFL Record Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Former National Football League players have reached a 914 million dollar settlement with the NFL for traumatic brain injuries. The settlement proposal is subject to court approval.
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Once a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and a Super Bowl champion, Terry Tautolo has spent his retirement from football in and out of homelessness. His family and friends blame his tragic decline and battle with substance abuse on the multiple concussions he sustained during his 9-year NFL career
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden or violent blow to the head and affects nearly 1.5 million people each year in the US. While TBI can be mild and many recover, it can also cause permanent disability or death. The average football player player takes 1500 to 2000 hits to the head, and the more than 2000 players who joined in the suit are claiming that the NFL concealed information linking football-related injuries to long-term brain damage. A collision between two players in this (violent) sport results in incredible force.
The NFL vehemently denies that it willfully concealed the reality of what was happening to players exposed to head trauma, lest it lose fans and profit. Star linebacker Junior Seau a former player who experienced serious TBI complications, committed suicide. He is not alone. NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself.
The proposed settlement agreement to be presented in Federal Court for signing details:
The amount includes $675 million to compensate players for a specified list of injuries, $75 million for medical tests, $10 million for educational programs promoting player safety and injury prevention specifically in youth football and $4 million for administrative expenses related to class notices. The NFL also agreed to pay an additional $37.5 million if needed for players plus attorney’s fees of $112.5 million, according to papers filed in federal court in Philadelphia on Monday. A judge previously calculated the deal at $765 million.
Traumatic brain injury can also happen to service members exposed to the shock of an explosion. No shrapnel has to enter the head to cause these injuries; they are caused by the shock wave of a blast.
The leading causes of TBI in the US are falls and motor vehicle accidents. In the general population (ie, non-military and professional sports), TBI mostly affects people over 75, due to falls, and people 17- 25, due to accidents.