The champion of the 2013 National Football League season will be determined this Sunday in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium when the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks clash in the “Big Game.” It’s the highlight to the league’s action on the field. But a financial settlement the NFL made prior to the season’s kickoff over traumatic brain injuries, which players say resulted from the game’s constant pounding, was quite the off-the-field newsmaker.
The NFL and a class of more than 4,500 former NFL players reached the $756 million settlement in August 2013. The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit claimed, in a nutshell, that the league knew of and negligently hid information that linked head injuries the players endured to catastrophic, long-term traumatic brain injuries many of them experience today, long after their playing careers are over.
The settlement is now under judicial review – for perhaps being too low.
The three-quarters-of-a-billion dollar settlement in the NFL litigation speaks to the tragic consequences of serious brain injuries. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are not limited to football players or professional athletes in any sport.
According to the Brain Trauma Foundation:
- The leading cause of death and disability in children and adults up to age 44 is traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Approximately 52,000 deaths occur annually from traumatic brain injury
- An estimated 2 percent of the people who live in the United States – 5.3 million Americans – suffer from TBI-related disabilities
Traumatic brain injuries can result from any number of incidents. Those hit by a car or truck may suffer a traumatic brain injury. Errors in medical care – such as problems in the delivery of a baby – can cause a serious brain injury. Even consumer products such as defective household cleaners may be responsible for traumatic brain damage.
Brain injury victims may require life-long care, and may not be able to work and provide for themselves and their families. So when a traumatic brain injury is the fault of others it’s only fair the victim be financially compensated.
Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries due to someone else’s negligence may want to follow the lead of the previously mentioned football players. An attorney can explore the legal avenues for obtaining the compensation such a life-altering tragedy demands.