Supreme Court rejects appeals of the NFL Concussion Settlement

By Jeff Nixon
Dec. 12, 2016

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided it will not hear the appeals to the NFL Concussion Settlement that were filed by 32 former NFL players.

The Court’s decision effectively ends the litigation that began on August 17, 2011, when Ray Easterling filed the first federal class action lawsuit against the NFL.

It’s hard to believe it took over 5 years to get to this point. 

The Settlement, overseen by Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, can now be implemented and former players with severe cognitive impairments can finally begin to receive the care and support they urgently need.

The Settlement is designed to cover about 21,000 retirees for 65 years.

Judge Anita Brody blocked the initial settlement, asking the NFL to make several changes. The most important one being her recommendation to remove the $675 million cap on monetary awards. She also asked for 5 other revisions to the Settlement after the Fairness Hearing that was conducted last November. Those revisions further improved the benefits and conditions of the Settlement.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the final approval of the settlement in April of this year.

This historic Settlement provides certain former players with immediate compensation, as well as important medical testing for others. These are critical benefits considering the number of retirees that are already experiencing neurocognitive illnesses, or are expected to experience the same over the 65-year life of the program.

I wish our lead plaintiff Kevin Turner was here to see this day. We will always remember him for the work he did to bring the issue of concussions to the attention of the public.