NFL settles with players in $1 billion deal

After a unanimous decision by three judges and one 69-page ruling, the NFL will settle with retired players in a deal deemed ‘imperfect but fair.’ Here’s what communicators should know.

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Despite communications efforts to deny the correlation between head trauma and mental illness in retired players, the NFL will settle.

In a landmark concussion settlement, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld a $1 billion deal that would force the National Football League to compensate its retired players with neurological diseases up to $5 million each.

It’s been three years since the league and players first reached a deal to compensate retired players suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, dementia, Alzheimers, A.L.S. and Parkinson’s disease. The original deal was deemed too low, and the two sides appear to have finally reached an end to what has become a very embarrassing saga for the NFL.

Three judges in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia were unanimous in their decision. Judge Thomas L. Ambro wrote:

This settlement will provide significant and immediate relief to retired players living with the lasting scars of a NFL career, including those suffering from some of the symptoms associated with CTE. We must hesitate before rejecting that bargain based on an unsupported hope that sending the parties back to the negotiating table would lead to a better deal.

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