In August 2013, a $765 million settlement was offered to former NFL players who suffered from severe injuries as a result of concussions while playing. Many player’s initial reaction was that the league was getting a great deal and that the money would not be enough to cover all injured players. In January 2014, a federal judge rejected the NFL’s $765 million settlement, fearing that all retired players covered in the lawsuit wouldn’t be.
Players like, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints think that the $765 million settlement amount is not enough. “There’s so many guys out there that need to qualify for disability and certainly need a lot more.” Brees added, “The amount of money that they’re talking about … sounds like a lot, but really it’s just a drop in the bucket for the amount of help that these guys need.”
Some players have opted to seek reimbursement separately. Former Detroit Lions Running Back Jahvid Best has filed suit against the NFL claiming that the league knew about the risks of head injuries and didn’t do enough to protect the players. Best suffered multiple concussions with the Lions before being released in July of 2013. He also filed suit against the NFL’s helmet maker, Riddell and Easton-Bell Sports as well as filing workers compensation claim against the Detroit Lions.
Another lawsuit by Junior Seau’s family stands out, as Seau’s case involves the death of a player. They are also potential class action members. In 2012, Seau committed suicide at the age of 43. In the lawsuit, his children claim that his death is the product of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease, which they say occurred because of “innumerable” blows to the head that caused Seau’s actions.
Though it is likely that the NFL and the player’s attorneys will meet at a fair settlement, no one can guess exactly how long these negotiations will take. To add to the time it takes for players to receive their cash, once a settlement is reached, it still could be months or even years before qualifying for disbursement. Even for players opting to file a separate lawsuit, a settlement date could still be months or even years away. When former NFL players need their settlement money now and not later to deal with medical bills and other expenses, pre settlement funding can help.