After U.S. district court judge Anita B.Brody rejected a $765 million concussion settlement between the NFL and the former players that were suing the league, the two sides went back to work and, late last month, produced a new settlement that said the NFL would uncap the payments to former players who were suffering debilitating symptoms because of previous head trauma.
On Monday, Brody preliminary approved the new settlement, leaving those former players one step closer to getting paid by the NFL.
“We are pleased the Court has granted preliminary approval," said the plaintiffs in a statement (via NFL.com). "This is an extraordinary settlement for retired NFL players and their families -- from those who suffer with neuro-cognitive illnesses today, to those who are currently healthy but fear they may develop symptoms decades into the future. We have received overwhelming support from the retired player community as they learn more about the guaranteed benefits and long-term security this settlement provides, and we look forward to soon finalizing this agreement.”
Said the NFL: “We are grateful to Judge Brody for her guidance and her thoughtful analysis of the issues as reflected in the comprehensive opinion she issued today. We will work with plaintiffs' counsel to provide notice to the class and implement the settlement terms as provided in the Court's order."
The compensation program establishes funds that can be used by any retired player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition.
Brody threw out the first settlement because she was unsure the $765 million would be enough money to last for the lifetime of the 65-year settlement.
Now, the plaintiffs will have 90 days to opt out or challenge the settlement. After that 90 days is up, Brody can give the deal her final approval.