Sports

NFL Concussion Settlement Payments Can Begin

The Supreme Court defers. Tony Dorsett and other former players can get paid.

COLLISION COURSE: Dorsett, photographed in his home December 19, 2013, faces his old, battle-scarred helmet. From "Tony Dorsett Is Losing His Mind," February 2014.
COLLISION COURSE: Dorsett, photographed in his home December 19, 2013, faces his old, battle-scarred helmet. From “Tony Dorsett Is Losing His Mind,” February 2014.

After the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to review the historic concussion settlement on Monday, eligible players with brain injuries, like former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett, should start receiving payments of up to $5 million, depending on the type and severity of their injuries. The settlement is uncapped, and estimates for total payouts over the next 65 years reach $1 billion.

This is a little bit of good news for eligible former players, but bad news for the excluded ones who were the basis of the appeal. Concerns include the fact that the settlement does not account for future scientific innovations that may allow C.T.E. to be diagnosed while players are still alive (at this point, it can only be confirmed in autopsies) and that non-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, may be covered, while related mood and behavioral illnesses may not.

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