Supreme Court upholds NFL's $1B concussion deal, allowing payments to begin

By The Sports Xchange
The Supreme Court has upheld a $1 billion settlement between the NFL and former players who sued over concussion injuries. Photo by Khaled Sayed/UPI
The Supreme Court has upheld a $1 billion settlement between the NFL and former players who sued over concussion injuries. Photo by Khaled Sayed/UPI | License Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand the NFL's $1 billion concussion deal on Monday, rejecting challenges to the plan to settle thousands of lawsuits filed by former players.

The settlement was reached by the NFL and covers more than 20,000 retired players for financial payouts based on brain injuries linked to concussions suffered during their playing careers. The agreement will cover retirees for the next 65 years.


The league estimates that 6,000 former players, or nearly three in 10, could develop Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia.

The justices left intact a federal appeals court ruling, clearing the process for payouts to begin for players and families.

RELATED New York Giants' Shane Vereen leaves game with concussion

"This decision means that, finally, retired NFL players will receive much-needed care and support for the serious neurocognitive injuries they are facing," said Christopher Seeger, a lawyer for the retired players. "These courageous men and their families, who in the face of great adversity took on the NFL, have made history. Despite the difficult health situations retired players face today, and that many more will unfortunately face in the future, they can take comfort in the fact that this settlement's significant and immediate benefits will finally become available to them and last for decades to come."


The NFL said in a statement the league was pleased with the decision.

"We look forward to working with class counsel and Judge (Anita) Brody to implement the settlement and provide the important benefits that our retired players and their families have been waiting to receive," the NFL statement said.

RELATED Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly ruled out Sunday; star's future questioned

Brody, a senior U.S. district judge in Philadelphia, originally approved the settlement.

As part of the settlement, the NFL admitted no fault even though a league official acknowledged during congressional testimony in March that there was a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Players diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, can receive a maximum of $5 million in compensation. Family members of players diagnosed with CTE can receive up to $4 million. Those with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases are eligible to receive up to $3.5 million. Players with neurocognitive impairment can receive up to $3 million.

Because the level of compensation depends on the recipients' age and NFL experience, the average payment is expected to be about $190,000.

Latest Headlines