The National Football League has released a report which states that 3 out of every 10 former NFL players are likely to suffer from crippling brain ailments like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and at earlier ages compared to the general population.
The report was used as supporting evidence in a class-action suit against the league. The report calculated the NFL proposed settlement of $675 million will be sufficient to award damages to affected former players.
There are 19,400 former league players, the NFL and the opposition lawyers estimate that 28% which is about 6000 former players will develop Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia as a consequence of their time playing for the NFL.
The American Football League has been sued for purportedly hiding information pertaining to brain injuries to concussions. Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody,was the first to express doubts that $675 million will be sufficient to cover all the damages. The report was released in response to her concerns. Brody is presiding over the lawsuit.
NFL has proposed that in addition to the $675 million for compensation, it will be spending another $10 million on research, $75 million to undertake baseline assessments, and $5 million to raise awareness in the public.
The fund will annually earn 4.5%, both sides agree that it will be enough to cover 21,000 former players. The NFL further added that this approximation is conservative and rational, overstating the potential number of players that will be affected to ensure ample coverage.
The players who qualify for the benefits of the fund must be below 45 years of age and must have played for a minimum of five years for NFL. The maximum payouts is as follows:
- Up to $5 million for those diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotropic lateral sclerosis or ALS)
- $3.5 million for Alzheimer’s patients
- Other forms of dementia and neuro-cognitive conditions will receive $3 million
- Deaths involving CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition involving brain decay diagnosed only after death) will get $4 million.
There still skeptics who contend that this amount is pea nuts when compared to the annual revenues of NFL which touches $ 10 Billion.