Tampa Attorneys Serving Injured Athletes Nationwide
For decades, football players in the NFL suffered multiple concussions while playing the game, but they were encouraged to continue to play, despite the known long-term risks of multiple head and brain injuries. Recent litigation by retired athletes has brought to light allegations of the NFL’s conscious disregard for its players’ safety and health. The capable brain injury lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can help former NFL players near Tampa and nationwide seek compensation for their harm. We also can advise you on your rights regarding the proposed concussion settlement.
Former Players Have Held the NFL Accountable
In 2011, a group of retired professional football players filed personal injury lawsuits against the NFL and related entities, alleging negligence. This meant that the organizations had breached their duty of care in failing to take reasonable action to protect players from the long-term harm of playing football. For many years, scientific findings repeatedly established that individuals who sustain repeated head trauma, such as concussions, are at an increased risk of permanent brain trauma. Studies have found that former NFL players have suffered chronic brain injuries from playing football, including:
- Parkinson’s syndrome
- Memory loss
- Cognitive defects
- Changes in mood and personality
- Mental illnesses
The plaintiffs stated that the NFL knew or should have known that its rules and regulations directly led to repeated player concussions that resulted in traumatic brain injuries, causing long-term neurological problems. The lawsuit also alleged that the league failed to warn its players, as well as knowingly hiding the risks of these recurrent injuries. After the claim was brought, the parties reached a settlement aimed at covering claims for all former players who have been diagnosed with a qualified brain injury, or their families.
Terms of the Proposed Settlement
Since the initial filing, over 5,000 former players brought similar lawsuits, which were consolidated into a class action suit with a settlement class size estimated to be more than 20,000 former players and their families. Class action lawsuits involve named plaintiffs, known as class representatives, who file suit on behalf of themselves as well as others with similar claims, known as class members. Once a settlement is reached, the court resolves the suit for all class members.
Under the proposed settlement terms, which have received preliminary approval, the NFL must pay damages for valid claims over the next 65 years. The proposed settlement awards monetary damages to former players as well as family members based on their medical diagnoses.
Retired NFL football players, including those who have retired from playing professional football with the NFL, AFL, World League of American Football, NFL Europe League, and NFL Europa League are members of the class action. Additionally, authorized representatives of deceased or legally incapacitated retired players, as well as derivative claimants like spouses, parents, or dependent children of retired players, are included in the class. The class excludes any current players.
Different levels of monetary damages are available to retired players who have received certain “qualifying diagnoses.” These are ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Neurocognitive Impairment, or death arising from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Under the settlement, a retired athlete does not need to prove his qualifying diagnosis was caused by playing football, or that head injuries occurred during his years of play, but only that he has received a qualifying diagnosis. If you are a retired NFL player who has sustained a traumatic brain injury, or a family member of such a player, a knowledgeable attorney can help you learn about your rights.
Seek Guidance Regarding Your Negligence Claim from a Pinellas County Lawyer
Brain injuries are life-altering, debilitating events with permanent effects on both a victim and his family members. The NFL should be held responsible for policies and actions that have caused thousands of retired players to suffer from the long-term impact of needless concussions. The negligence attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can assist you in pursuing damages. We have worked with Pinellas County residents as well as people nationwide in a wide variety of injury cases. Call us today at (866) 597-0009, or fill out our online form for a free initial consultation.