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$765 Million Settlement for NFL Concussion Claims

On August 29, 2013, U.S. Judge Anita B. Brody announced that the National Football League had reached a settlement with players in the concussion injury multidistrict litigation. (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litig., Case No. 12-2323, E.D. Pa.). The settlement of $765 million is to fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation, and medical research for retired NFL players and their families. The NFL is also prepared to pay court-approved attorney fees. The settlement will still need to be approved by the court once a settlement motion is filed.

This settlement will purportedly resolve hundreds of lawsuits against the NFL over the long-term effects of concussions filed by former NFL players. These former players alleged that the NFL had known for years the potential harm of repetitive head impacts sustained during practices and games but concealed these risks from the players. The cases were consolidated into an MDL. In August 2012, NFL had moved to dismiss the complaints on the basis that the claims amounted to a labor dispute relating to the applicable collective bargaining agreements between the former players and their teams. Before ruling on the motion to dismiss, the court ordered the parties to engage in mediation.

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