— More than 200 former players or their families have
opted out of the proposed settlement of NFL concussion
claims, fewer than 1 percent of the retirees covered by
the deal, according to court documents filed Monday.
players who opted out of the proposed class-action
settlement have the option of suing the NFL individually,
but they presumably would have to show their brain
injuries resulted from concussions suffered while they
were playing for the league.
has agreed to pay at least $765 million, and more if
needed, to address claims the NFL hid known concussion
risks for years. Current players are not included in the
by the claims administrator said that a total of 220
individuals — 196 former players, 22 relatives of NFL
retirees and two who went unclassified — opted out by
last month's deadline. Fourteen sought to opt out but
submitted their requests too late.
notices were sent to 25,040 players and 8,924 relatives of
deceased players, the filing said.
over 99 percent participation, it is clear the retired
player community resoundingly supports this
settlement," lead plaintiffs' attorneys Christopher
Seeger and Sol Weiss said in a statement. "Over the
last several months, we have heard from countless retired
players who are in dire need of these benefits, as well as
those who take comfort in the long-term protections the
settlement is designed to last at least 65 years and cover
retired players who develop Lou Gehrig's disease, dementia
or other neurological problems believed to be caused by
concussions suffered during their pro careers.
average award for Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia
is expected to be about $190,000, though it could go as
high as $5 million for the most serious cases. The NFL's
actuaries expect about 6,000 men to be diagnosed with
serious enough cognitive problems to qualify for an award.
have been raised by some retirees likely to miss out or
have their awards reduced because, they say, they did not
get a diagnosis when their symptoms first appeared, or
suffered other medical conditions that affect award
leading brain trauma experts have also criticized the plan
because it pays nothing to ex-players exhibiting mood
swings, aggression and other behavioral problems they link
to repetitive brain trauma.
settlement awaits final approval. A fairness hearing is
scheduled for Nov. 19 and a federal judge is taking
written objections through Dec. 11.