Report: 3 out of 10 former NFL players will develop cognitive problems –
According to a report prepared by Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, nearly three in 10 former NFL players will develop at least moderate neurocognitive problems and qualify for payments under the proposed $765 million concussion settlement,
Brody, who is presiding over the class-action lawsuit in Philadelphia that accuses the NFL of hiding information that linked concussions to brain injuries, released the data to the public on Friday.
According to the data, 14 percent of all former players will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and another 14 percent will develop moderate dementia over the next 65 years. There are more than 19,000 former players still living, meaning nearly 6,000 of them will fall into those two groups. Another 31 men will be diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and 24 with Parkinson’s disease during their lives.
The NFL has predicted that 28 percent of all retired players will qualify for an award, while estimating rates for some illnesses will be at a far greater rate than the general population and strike much earlier in life.
The proposed settlement includes $675 million for player awards, $75 million for baseline assessments, $10 million for research and $5 million for public notice. It wouldn’t cover current players.
Both sides have insisted that $675 million would be enough to cover awards for 21,000 former players, given fund earnings estimated at 4.5 percent annually. Brody initially had concerns the money might run out, while critics complained the NFL’s offering is a nothing compared its $10 billion in annual revenues.
The league agreed this summer to remove the cap on its contributions, saying it would pay out more than $675 million if needed, and pay more over time if needed. Brody then granted preliminary approval of the plan and scheduled a fairness hearing on the proposed settlement for Nov. 19, when critics can challenge the parties on their calculations or award scheme.
Lawyers for some players have complained that the negotiations have been cloaked in secrecy, leaving them unsure of whether their clients should participate or opt out by next month’s deadline.
The family of former linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide, has announced plans to opt out. He about 60 former players diagnosed after their deaths with the brain decay known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Known as CTE, it can only be diagnosed after death.
Critics also complain that the settlement plan offers no awards to anyone diagnosed with CTE in the future, and that the Alzheimer’s and dementia awards are cut by 75 percent for players who also suffered strokes.
According to the data, about 28 percent of all retired players are expected to be diagnosed with a neurocognitive injury that is eligible for compensation under the plan. But only 60 percent of them are expected to seek awards, based on prior class-action litigation.
The 21,000 class members include 19,400 living men and the estates of 1,700 others. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
Stanton sustained multiple facial fractures, dental damage and cuts that needed stitches after being hit in the face by a fastball from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers.
Stanton’s father was at the game and came onto the field while his son was treated. Stanton was bleeding heavily from his mouth, then was driven away from the plate in an ambulance. His dad rode with him to the hospital.
It was ruled that Stanton swung trying to get out of the way of the 88 mph pitch from Fiers. Reed Johnson batted for Stanton and was hit in the hand by Fiers’ next pitch, triggering a bench-clearing brawl.
“I’ve never seen anything like that and I’ve definitely never seen two swings called on those two plays,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “I’ve never seen a guy get hit in the mouth and called for a swing. He’s out there bleeding at home plate and for the first base ump to say he swung at that pitch, what a joke.” (Photos: Morry Gash/The Associated Press, Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)