Is $765 Million Enough to Cover NFL Concussion Claims? 

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 14 2014 6:42 PM

Judge Rejects $765 Million NFL Concussion Settlement

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Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers argues a call with a referee in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 12, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Flag down on the play. A federal judge in Philadelphia today rejected a $765 million settlement of concussion claims between the National Football League and retired players. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody had many concerns with the landmark deal, chief among them the amount of money on the table.

The proposed settlement aims to award ex-players with fixed amounts of money based on age and diagnosis. The AP explains:

A younger retiree with Lou Gehrig's disease would get $5 million, those with serious dementia cases would get $3 million and an 80-year-old with early dementia would get $25,000. Retirees without symptoms would get baseline screening, and follow-up care if needed.
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Which brings us to back to the issue of money. "Even if only 10 percent of retired NFL football players eventually receive a qualifying diagnosis, it is difficult to see how the Monetary Award Fund would have the funds available over its lifespan to pay all claimants at these significant award levels," Brody wrote in her opinion.

Brody will seek additional financial data from both sides to back up the settlement figures, which were notably absent from the court filing. While the settlement was seen by some as a steal for the league, lawyers for the ex-players argue the deal avoids a tough-to-win court case, which could leave players empty-handed.