Risks of Traumatic Brain Injury in the National Football League

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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

Never has there been more of a spotlight on, and awareness of, the risk of brain injury in the NFL. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in some athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma. Of 91 former National Football League (NFL) players who donated their brains for research after death, 87 tested positive for CTE, a debilitating condition that can cause depression, aggression and loss of memory and motor skills. Researchers suggest repeated minor head trauma, not just major concussions, can cause CTE.

On April 22, 2015, a federal judge approved a class-action lawsuit settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players. The agreement provides up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma. There is no cap on the amount of funds available to pay the monetary awards and all valid claims will be paid in full for 65 years. There are several categories, based on a doctor’s diagnosis, with maximum payments ranging from $1.5 million to $5 million. For instance, an ex-player who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease could receive up to $3.5 million.The settlement also will provide eligible retired players with baseline neurological exams and medical benefits to include testing, treatment, counseling and pharmaceutical coverage .

While the settlement has been approved, it may be some time before the players receive their payouts. Objectors to the settlement are requesting an en banc rehearing of the settlement approval given by the Third Circuit U.S Court of Appeals.

Plaintiff Support offers pre-settlement funding to former NFL players suffering from CTE. If you have a client who has received this diagnosis and is in need of assistance with living expenses, please have them call us at 1-800-352-9676.

Plaintiff Support offers a variety of settlement funding services to help plaintiffs and attorneys during and after a personal injury case. Learn more about how we can help you.

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