A federal judge is refusing to sign off on a $760 million settlement for retired football players suffering from traumatic brain injuries caused by concussions because she believes the amount is not adequate to compensate the thousands of retired athletes and their families who are entitled to the money.
The settlement was first negotiated last summer as a means of compensating those former players and their families coping with the long-term effects of head trauma. The agreement is intended to provide medical benefits and injury compensations to those retired football players who received a qualifying diagnosis.
Qualifying diagnoses include neurocognitive impairment, Alzheimer ’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease caused by chronic concussions or less serious brain trauma, that causes degeneration of the brain tissue, dementia and memory loss. The families of players who die from CTE are entitled to $4 million in the settlement deal. Sufferers of ALS, Parkinson’s and Level 2 Neurocognitive impairment are owed a maximum of $5 million, $3.5 million and$ 3 million respectively.
In her denial of approval for the deal, Judge Anita Brody said that she feared the monetary fund was not substantial enough to compensate all those entitled to the funds. “Even if only 10 percent of retired NFL football players eventually receive a qualifying diagnosis, it is difficult to see how the monetary award fund would have funds available over its lifespan to pay all claimants at these significant award levels,” Brody said.