NCAA $70 Million Concussion Settlement

By Jeff Nixon
Jan. 17, 2017

All former pro football players that participated in NCAA Football or other NCAA-sanctioned sports should have received a notice of a proposed Settlement regarding an NCAA Concussion Settlement.

Although the Court has not yet resolved the merits of the lawsuit, or determined whether the Class Representatives’ or the NCAA’s contentions are true, the Parties have agreed to settle the Litigation. The NCAA denies all allegations of wrongdoing and liability and believes that its conduct was lawful. The NCAA, however, is settling to avoid the substantial cost, inconvenience and disruption of litigation. The Class Representatives and their attorneys believe that the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class because it provides an appropriate remedy for Settlement Class Members now, while avoiding the substantial risk, expense and delay of pursuing the case through trial and any appeals.The lawsuit claimed that the NCAA was negligent and breached its duty to protect all current and former student-athletes by failing to adopt appropriate rules regarding concussions. 

You are a Class Member and are included in the Settlement if you played an NCAA–sanctioned sport at an NCAA school at any time up to July 15, 2016. They have established a website at this link: National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation

As part of the Settlement, the NCAA has agreed to a Medical Monitoring Fund of $70 Million, which, after deducting administrative costs, and attorney’s fees and expenses, will fund the screening of Class Members as well as medical evaluations for those Class Members who qualify as a result of the screening during the 50-year term of the Medical Monitoring Program. The medical evaluations will be designed to assess symptoms related to persistent post-concussion syndrome, as well as cognitive, mood, behavioral, and motor problems that may be associated with mid, to late-life onset diseases that may be linked to concussions and/or sub-concussive hits, such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopothy and related disorders. In addition, the NCAA has committed $5 Million to fund research regarding the prevention, diagnosis, care, and management of concussions and mid- to late-life neurodegenerative disease. The NCAA has also agreed to change its policies and procedures for concussion management and return to play.

I should note that, unlike the NFL Concussion Settlement, there are no monetary awards and no free treatment or prescriptions for Class members under the Settlement. Additionally, the lawyers fees and expenses will be taken out of the $70 Million.     

You can download the Settlement Agreement at this link: Second Amended Class Action Settlement and Release.  If you have any questions, you can call the Notice Administrator at 1-877-209-9898.

Just like the NFL Concussion Settlement, you have three options:

• Do nothing and remain in the Settlement

• Opt Out (Exclude Yourself) from the Settlement – March 10, 2017 deadline

• Object or Comment on the Settlement

The Court appointed the law firms Hagens, Berman, Sobol, Shapiro LLP and Siprut PC to represent you. You do not have to pay these attorneys or anyone else to participate.

The Court will determine whether to approve the Settlement and attorney’s fees and expenses at a Fairness Hearing to be held on May 5, 2017 at 10:00 am.