The NFL has reached a $765 million settlement with a group of players who filed a lawsuit against the league over concussion related issues.
The lawsuit, which involved more than 4,500 former players, claimed that the league covered up information relating to the risk of concussions in order to get players back on the field after an injury.
Several former players claim that they have suffered longtime effects from their head injuries in the NFL. Many people believe that Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau’s suicide last year was the result of brain damage.
NFL.com reports that the $765 million settlement will be used to fund medical research, pay medical bills, and to cover litigation expenses.
Former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips, the court-appointed mediator, said that the NFL and the NFLPA had both agreed on the settlement but that the deal still needs to be approved by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody.
Phillips told Pro Football Talk: “This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football… Rather than litigate literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief and support where it is needed at a time when it is most needed. I am deeply grateful to Judge Brody for appointing me as mediator and offering me the opportunity to work on such an important and interesting matter.”
Yahoo Sports notes that the NFL has denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that safety is its number one priority. Now that a settlement has been reached, the league won’t have to disclose any information about what it knew or if it attempted to cover up any studies about the risk of concussions.
The settlement comes at a good time for the NFL as the league is preparing to start the 2013 season.