News, NFL Concussion

NFL concussion settlement claims approvals exceed $380 million in first year; value surpasses NFL’s five-year estimate

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Philadelphia, PA – More than $380 million in monetary awards have been approved as part of the NFL concussion settlement since the claims process opened one year ago, according to the latest report released yesterday by the Court-appointed Claims Administrator. The NFL, in a report submitted to the court as part of the settlement approval process, had estimated it would pay $298 million in the first five years of the settlement. In addition, more than 5,500 Baseline Assessment Program appointments have been scheduled, with more than 3,900 attended.

“The concussion settlement 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,” said Christopher Seeger, co-lead class counsel for the retired NFL players.

As noted in news reports, earlier delays–which were the result of a large influx of claims when the program began–are being more quickly resolved. Earlier this month, the Court approved two new physicians to the Appeals Advisory Panel (AAP), which is responsible for reviewing claims that involve diagnoses received before the effective date of the settlement.

Additionally, the large number of initial claims included many that required further investigation by the Claims Administrator to ensure the settlement is being implemented fairly and without fraud. For example, the Court-appointed Special Masters disqualified one physician who reviewed 153 claims after her “examinations” were found to not meet the standard of care. According to their report, some former players were sent cross-country to visit this physician, who also claimed to have conducted 134.5 hours of examinations during one 48-hour period. Affected former players will be allowed to seek new evaluations. Other court documents revealed text messages in which a representative from a company claiming to help with the settlement process informed a former NFL player that “we train you for the test.”

The Claims Administrator publishes an updated report weekly, which can be found at NFLConcussionSettlement.com.

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