More than 26 months ago, the NFL struck a deal to resolve the thousands of concussion lawsuits filed by former players who claimed the league failed to do enough to warn players about the hazards of head trauma or to protect them from it. On Thursday, the settlement finally heads to an appeals court in Philadelphia in an effort to secure final approval.
Judge Anita Brody previously approved the settlement after a lengthy delay and adjustments to the terms of the deal, including an agreement by the NFL to make unlimited funds available for all former players who qualify for payment.
But some of the class members appealed the deal, arguing that the settlement does not make payment available to a sufficiently broad range of ailments.
Even if the deal is approved, the class members who opposed the deal can try to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would serve only to further delay the payment of funds to those who need it.
And if the settlement is scrapped and the litigation proceeds, there’s a chance that, eventually, no one will get anything. Except the lawyers for the league, who continue to get paid by the hour for pushing paper from one pile to the next.