After a proposed $765 million settlement was rejected in January by a federal judge, the NFL has agreed to a new plan that would not set a cap on damages and would pay cash going forward to any retired player who suffers from diseases linked to repeated head contact. From the New York Times:
Lawyers for the league and the plaintiffs spent the past six months revising the settlement. If the judge approves the new version in the coming weeks, it will be sent to all 18,000 retired players and their beneficiaries, who can then approve the settlement, object or opt out of it. The results of that vote are unlikely to be known for at least several months, and no players will be paid until all appeals are exhausted.
The abandonment of the $765 million cap is not the only element of the revised plan that seems like a victory for the players, says Andrew Brandt, who writes about the business of football for Sports Illustrated's MMQB site:
Key rider to amended concussion settlement: plaintiffs can pursue similar claims v NCAA/amateur organizations. That restriction removed.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) June 25, 2014
The terms of the settlement are intended to cover retired-player claims for the next 65 years.