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The National Football League and lawyers representing former players who sued the league after suffering concussions during their careers announced a revised settlement offer Wednesday, several months after a federal judge rejected preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement.
U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody in January rejected the $765 million settlement the NFL had struck with the players in August 2013, saying the amount was potentially inadequate to cover compensation claims from the more than 20,000 retired professional football players who may have suffered brain injuries.
The revised settlement will not be capped at any specified amount and will be available to any retired player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition, the league and lawyers for the players said in a statement.
“This agreement will give retired players and their families immediate help if they suffer from a qualifying neurocognitive illness, and provide peace of mind to those who fear they may develop a condition in the future,” co-lead plaintiffs counsel Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss said in the statement. “This settlement guarantees that these benefits will be there if needed, and does so without years of litigation that may have left many retired players without any recourse.”
In addition to Ms. Brody, Perry Golkin, special master of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, helped the two sides craft the revised settlement over the course of several months.
“Today's agreement reaffirms the NFL's commitment to provide help to those retired players and their families who are in need, and to do so without the delay, expense and emotional cost associated with protracted litigation,” said NFL Senior Vice President Anastasia Danias in the statement. “We are eager to move forward with the process of court approval and implementation of the settlement.”
If the Court grants preliminary approval to the deal, retired players will be formally notified of the settlement, with a final approval hearing likely to occur later this year, the statement said.