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SBD/July 10, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Analysis: Revised Concussion Settlement An Important Step To Maintaining NFL's Prosperity
Published July 10, 2014
OWNERS FEEL FORTUNATE: ESPN's Ed Werder said NFL owners "feel fortunate that they were able to resolve what was the most fearsome litigation pending against the league" and that they were "able to do it without going through the discovery phase that might have provided NFL players a significant amount of information about what doctors knew and when they knew it about the long-term effects of these injuries and, for the most part, these settlements are going to be protected and paid for by the insurance companies." ESPN's James Walker said the key was the owners not having to go through the "discovery phase, that was really the Pandora's box" for the NFL ("NFL Insiders," ESPN2, 7/8).
A FAIR DEAL? ESPN's Tony Kornheiser noted perhaps the "most controversial aspect of this settlement ... is that if you want to claim money for having died from the brain disease CTE, you better have already died." Kornheiser: "Nobody who dies as a result of CTE from now on will be compensated." ESPN's Michael Wilbon added it "just seems to me to be unconscionable on some level." However, if the case is made that the compensation "goes to people in the stages before you get to death, then maybe that is well served." Kornheiser wondered why the players agreed to the settlement, as it "seems on the face of it totally unfair." He said, "We all believe that there is a connection between football and this disease." Kornheiser added, "One reasonable answer would be that there are other diseases perhaps on the way to CTE and you can get compensated for them in the now" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/8).