NFL, former players reach $750M settlement in head injury suit

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The National Football League (NFL) will pay more than $750 million to settle a lawsuit brought by retired players who argued the league didn’t do enough to protect players from concussions, according to the terms of a tentative settlement announced Aug. 29.

A portion of the money will be set aside in a fund for concussion research and education.

More than 4,500 former players were involved in the lawsuit, but the settlement applies to all past NFL players, according to the Associated Press. The bulk of the money will compensate retirees and the families of some deceased players with certain neurological ailments, with individual payment caps varying by disorder. Ten million dollars will go toward medical research.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody likely will rule on the settlement before the end of the year, according to the Associated Press.

The settlement announcement comes on the heels of sports network ESPN’s decision to pull out of a joint documentary project with the PBS news show Frontline.  

Concussions in sports have dominated headlines following the suicides of NFL players Ray Easterling, Junior Seau and others. For more on the topic of head injury research, read Health Imaging’s recent feature “ Turning Up the Volume on a Silent Epidemic: Advanced Imaging & TBI.”