The Pro Football Concussion Report

A Fan's Look at Head Injuries and the Concussion Crisis in Football

NFL Plaintiffs Lawyer Calls Settlement a Big Win

NFL Plaintiffs Lawyer Anthony Tarricone
NFL Plaintiffs Lawyer Anthony Tarricone


NFL concussion litigation steering committee member Anthony Tarricone penned a recent op-ed for the National Law Journal in which he characterized the proposed settlement as a big win for the former players.


“The benefits in this agreement provide much-needed testing, medical benefits and compensation for those who are sick today and those who may develop an illness in the next 65 years.

Put simply, the settlement guarantees that compensation is available whether a retired player is sick today or develops a neurocognitive illness years into the future.”


Tarricone points out in what’s perhaps the settlement’s most widespread benefit, is that many former players have no health insurance and the settlement provides free, lifetime insurance against ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia. That’s a pretty significant benefit in that a 2012 study suggests that former football players are 3 times as likely to suffer from these neuro-cognitive illnesses as the general public.

Tarricone also tackles the controversial issue of CTE. The settlement compensates “CTE” only if the former player died and was diagnosed with the illness post-mortem between January 1, 2006 and July 7, 2014 (currently, there is no recognized method of diagnosing CTE in living persons). Because of medical science only being able to diagnose CTE upon death, Tarricone notes that including CTE as a compensable illness would actually have incentivized suicide. He also suggests that if a player is actually suffering from the effects CTE, that may manifest itself in one of the compensable illnesses.


“In light of that, former players going forward will not have to prove they have CTE to receive compensation—only that they have been diagnosed with a neurocognitive disease. In short, those who are sick get compensated.”


Regardless of how the attorneys or the NFL present that positives and negatives of their negotiated concussion settlement, ultimately, the effectiveness of the deal will  be judged in the unique spotlight that shines on everything that the NFL does. If the sick players are finally compensated, the NFL will be championed for their swift reaction to the concussion crisis. If the settlement somehow fails to compensate former players who are sick, their plights will undoubtedly be televised and blogged about and the scrutiny will be back on the NFL and it’s refusal to acknowledge the suffering of its members’ former employees.


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