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Insurer settles suit with NFL over player injuries


The National Football League and Westport Insurance Corp. have settled a longstanding court battle stemming from the NFL’s insurers refusing to indemnify the league for the cognitive and neurological injury claims made by a group of retired football players.

The undisclosed settlement was filed Wednesday in New York state. Overland Park, Kansas-based Westport, a subsidiary of Swiss Re Ltd., was one of more than 30 insurers who banded together after the NFL agreed to pay injured players more than $1 billion in a settlement finalized in 2015. That settlement included an uncapped, inflation-adjusted monetary award fund to remain in place for 65 years and provide compensation for retired players with certain diagnoses; a $75 million baseline assessment program that provides eligible retired players with free examinations of their objective neurological functioning; and a $10 million education fund to teach players about injury prevention.

With this most recent settlement, 25 insurers remain in the current lawsuit against the league. While the insurers stated they did not seek to “join forces” with each other in a letter to the court in 2016, they filed together for discovery purposes, and the remainder in the lawsuit signed off on the Westport settlement.

Retired players continue to file claims against the NFL, both individually and collectively. In 2016, 38 players filed a complaint alleging the league was responsible for their chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating brain injury, in a U.S. District Court in Florida.

Swiss Re did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Westport settlement.







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