Wednesday, September 4, 2013

NFL Mediated Settlement A Win Win Solution?

National Football League is a huge player in the entertainment industry. The NFL sucks nearly 10 billion dollars annually from the economy while too many actual players sacrifice their long-term health and livelihoods for the profitability of the game. Mounting medical evidence suggests that concussions and repeated blows to the head can lead to serious long-term health problems.  A growing number of retired players now suffer from dementia, reduced mental capacity, mental illness, and other serious  problems.  Were players adequately informed of the potential health risks before they signed their employment contracts?

A Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy study suggests evidence that a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a severe degenerative brain disease, had been found in the brains of 14 of 15 deceased former NFL® players. During their playing career, these players suffered repeated concussions, sub-concussive blows to the head, or both.  CTE is manifested by progressive deterioration in mental capabilities, starting with mild memory loss, decreased concentration, and typically progress into Parkinson's disease and complete dementia.

Similarly, Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago researches concluded that mild, repeated blows to the head may predispose people to dementia. These findings are consistent with a 2005 study that suggested that ex-football players may be at a higher risk for Alzheimer's. Consequently, it should be no surprise that the recent players lawsuit against the NFL was compromised.So what is the effect of the compromise? The NFL will pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit brought by more than 4,500 players and their families in order to settle the lawsuit accusing the league of concealing from the players what it knew about the dangers of repeated hits to the head. (The settlement provides $675 million for players or the families of players who sustained cognitive injury. Up to $75 million will be set aside for baseline medical exams. $10 million will be paid by the NFL for research. The NFL also agreed to pay legal fees for the plaintiffs’ lawyers. The settlement allows the NFL to avoid the huge cost of discovery associated with this type of litigation and put an end to some of the negative publicity..

To be clear, the settlement is not an admission of guilt on the part of the NFL. Furthermore, the settlement is relatively low when one considers the number of claimants and the severity of their damages. But given the uncertainty of litigation and the families who need help now, the players had little choice but to compromise their position.Christopher Seeger, was a lawyer for the plaintiff players. The settlement which was reached with the help of a court-appointed mediator needs to be formally approved by Judge Anita B. Brody of United States District Court in Philadelphia.

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Anonymous said...

I think most of the players got paid pretty well for the risk.

Anonymous said...

Most of the players were poor money managers and while compensated well during their playing years, the vast majority are broke five years later!

A Registered Mediator said...

Best solutions are mediated solutions. The main reason is that when parties agree to a solution it is more likely that the solution will be implemented.

Anonymous said...

A good settlement stands the test of time