As of June 29, 2020, more than $785 million in claims have been approved.
For the official NFL concussion settlement website, please visit www.nflconcussionsettlement.com.
On April 26, 2012, Christopher A. Seeger, founding partner of Seeger Weiss, was appointed co-lead counsel of the NFL concussion litigation by the Honorable Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
While media and sports pundits predicted an uphill if not impossible task, Seeger obtained an unprecedented and landmark settlement that has led to life-changing benefits for former NFL players and their families. Implementation of this historic settlement continues today, as its benefits will last for the next 60 years–providing baseline neuropsychological and neurological assessment examinations as well as compensation to those afflicted with qualifying neurocognitive diseases.
Beginning in 2011, nearly 5,000 former players courageously sued the National Football League over head trauma they received during their NFL football careers, which in many cases led to long-term neurocognitive diseases that we now believe to be associated with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The lawsuits alleged that the NFL knew about the health risks for years, but hid that information from its players.
After extensive settlement negotiations, an agreement was reached that would provide a wide range of benefits to retired NFL players and their families, including baseline testing as well as an uncapped compensation fund for those suffering from conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or ALS. Notably, this fund lasts for 65 years, and the NFL must pay all eligible claims during this period regardless of the total amount–essentially providing an insurance policy to former players who may be healthy today, but face a heightened risk of developing these neurocognitive diseases in the future. The settlement’s programs would be in addition to any benefits retirees are eligible for through various other NFL disability and pension systems.
Former players resoundingly supported the agreement, with fewer than one percent opting out of the settlement. Once Judge Brody approved the settlement, and subsequent appeals were rejected by the Third Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, it became effective on January 7, 2017.
The historic settlement, now in its second year, is on track to cost the NFL far more than it projected, and former players are receiving the benefits they are entitled to and deserve. The ever-increasing number of claims that are being approved totaling hundreds of millions of dollars show that the NFL concussion settlement is fulfilling its promise.
The more than 21,000 hours of work put in by Seeger Weiss are a testament to the firm’s dedication to the case. As Judge Brody wrote in an order,
“Seeger Weiss played a key role in evaluating the complex legal issues of this case and defending the case on appeal… Seeger Weiss and Professor Issacharoff constructed a landmark legal theory to defend the settlement of this personal injury case as a class action. This was a great legal challenge that was remarkably well orchestrated both in the design of the Settlement and in the outstanding appellate advocacy that supported it.”
“It has been the honor of my career to represent these retired NFL players and their families. Their courage to take a stand against the League led to a result no one believed possible,” said Seeger. “While our wish is for no one to suffer from these debilitating diseases, this settlement will be there for decades to provide these men and their families some comfort and relief if that day does come.”