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NFL finally reaches settlement in concussion, brain-injury suit

Ohio football fans are gearing up for the next NFL season, but football may start to look a little different this season. After the National Football League recently reached a large settlement regarding the concussion-related brain injuries lawsuit, change will be instilled. Over 4,500 former players joined the lawsuit and all hope to take part of the tentative $765 million settlement. The league has over 18,000 retired football players and all are eligible for a cut.

The money is supposed to cover medical exams, underwrite research and pay victims of concussion-related brain injury suffered as a result of playing in the NFL. But the settlement didn't come easily and followed months of mediation.

According to the plaintiffs, the league intentionally hid the dangers of concussions and pushed players back into the games before they fully recovered from head injuries. They accused the league of profiting from their injuries by marketing the full-impact hits to fans. The plaintiffs suffer a range of injuries from depression, dementia or Alzheimer's, which they say is a result of head injuries sustained during their participation in the sport.

The settlement has yet to be approved by the presiding judge, but if it is approved, it will probably mean that numerous internal NFL files will be kept confidential. No one may ever know for sure just how much the NFL knew about brain injuries, concussions and the potentially deadly consequences, including suicidal behavior.

Concussions and similar brain injuries are not to be taken lightly. Sometimes the injuries are immediate and upfront, but as this lawsuit points out, sometimes the ramifications don't appear for many years and can be life altering.

Anyone who suffers a brain injury as a result of the negligent behavior of another party should consider legal action. Treating and dealing with a brain injury can be incredibly expensive. Therapy may be long-term and victims may not be able to afford the medical care and related expenses without the assistance of a settlement or verdict.

Source: News Journal, "Judge: NFL, players to settle concussion lawsuits," Aug. 29, 2013

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