Third Circuit Appeals Court Affirms Landmark NFL Concussion Lawsuit

The groundbreaking 2013 lawsuit settlement against the NFL has been upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The settlement, which is poised to compensate former NFL players for the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), may move to higher courts, however, due to some plaintiffs asserting that the terms are too restrictive and exclude deserving victims.

As the New York Times reports, more than 98% of retired players approved the settlement in 2013, which was revised in both 2014 and 2015 to better compensate players. As it stands now, players who were found to have CTE before the settlement approval will receive up to $5 million. Plaintiffs looking to appeal that decision want players who are also found to have CTE throughout the lawsuit's 65-year lifespan to be compensated, as well.

"They didn’t say this was a good settlement, they said it was a reasonable settlement that was reached," said plaintiff lawyer Michael Kaplen, referring to the appeals judges' latest ruling. "They don’t care that large numbers of players weren’t compensated, only that this was the best deal that their lawyers could make." Attorney Steven Molo, who is leading the appeal effort, said that he and players who still wish to challenge the ruling are reviewing their legal options.

The NFL: Off the Hook?

To some, the upholding of the settlement is a victory for the NFL rather than the former players and their families who qualify for a recovery. While the settlement has been costly and hurts the NFL from a PR standpoint, it also allows the NFL to admit no fault in the injuries, which protects them from further claims in the future.

The players and their families who want the terms of the settlement changed now have two options: file a petition for an Appellate Court rehearing, or file a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. It is unclear, however, how the appeal would fair with the Supreme Court's current eight-justice panel—or if the court would select the case for review at all.

If you are a former NFL player or the family of a former NFL player affected by CTE, now is a critical moment to seek relief. The NFL is accused of hiding CTE research and refusing to act in the best interest of its players. At Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law, our dedicated and sought-after Tampa personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for deserving injury victims. We are ready to help you navigate this crucial and historic moment in this landmark case and ensure that your claim gets the consideration it deserves.

Take the action your claim deserves. Call us at 813.223.7799 today.

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