Much has been written about the delayed processing of specific claims under the concussion settlement. Here’s something positive that can be said about the payment of claims.
According to a press release issued Monday by one of the firms representing the plaintiffs in the concussion litigation, the settlement already has surpassed its 10-year award projections. The league had estimated that $404 million would be distributed within the first decade after the settlement became effective. Instead, the fund has distributed more than $500 million in only 16 months.
“The fact that $500 million in claims have been approved in less than two years proves that this settlement is fulfilling its promise to former NFL players and their families,” co-lead class counsel for the former NFL players Christopher Seeger said. “We encourage all eligible former players to immediately sign up for a baseline assessment, and they can take comfort in knowing that compensation will be available for more than 60 years if they develop a qualifying condition. We will continue to hold the NFL accountable and ensure every former player receives the benefits they deserve.”
More than 6,000 former players have undergone the baseline assessment. Former players become eligible for payment based on the development of certain specific conditions, without having to demonstrate a football-related cause.
The settlement as initially proposed contained a cap on the potential payments. To secure approval from the court presiding over the case, the league had to remove the limit.
Earlier this month, Judge Anita Brody rejected a request by the league to appoint a special investigator to explore allegedly widespread fraud in connection with the effort to secure payment for claims.