Helmet Injury Cases
Several athletic-equipment companies’ promises of concussion reduction haven’t held up to scrutiny. In 2013, for example, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that Riddell could not claim that its Revolution model helmet reduced concussion risk by 31 percent; the following year, the agency sent a letter asking several sporting-goods retailers to substantiate the descriptions of mouth guards on their websites as protecting against concussions.
National Football League (NFL) Concussions Settlement Agreement
The NFL’s settlement, which was years in the making, includes a bottomless fund over a 65-year period to compensate a class of about 22,000 former NFL players. The agreement offers payments ranging from $1.5 million to $5 million for each retired player diagnosed with some of the most serious neurological conditions linked to traumatic brain injuries, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. The Supreme Court is poised to approve the settlement.
The uncapped fund will continue to stand for 65 years and the NFL can challenge any claims. However, if the league’s challenges are found to be harassing in any way, it could face court sanctions. Another change from the previous agreement is that players will not lose their right to sue the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The agreement also stipulates that the NFL will create a $10 million fund to further concussion prevention and to cover administrative costs involved with notifying players of the fund.