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Shapiro & Appleton

Federal Judge Turns Down $75 Million NCAA Head Injury Settlement

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A federal judge rejected a proposed $75 million head injury settlement with the NCAA last month, stating that the deal is probably underfunded and both sides need to come up with a better deal.

The settlement would create a fund that would be used to evaluate current and former athletes who have or have had traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and/or concussions. Also, the settlement would require that the standards for athletes going back to the playing field would be made tougher.

The idea behind the deal was for the NCAA to settle a number of brain injury lawsuits that accuse the NCAA of failing to protect players from head injuries. The proposed testing regimen would protect the NCAA from being hit with one huge damages payout for TBI and related head injuries.

The federal judge was unsure if the $70 million figure for testing would be sufficient. He also had questions about the promises of the NCAA to make the return to play rules tougher.

Ten lawsuits from around the US were brought together for this case. One of them was a former football player at Eastern Illinois who said that he had five concussions in his football career.

We know how devastating traumatic brain injuries can be, so we are glad to hear that the NCAA is soon going to be providing funds for preventing future TBIs. We have worked on many traumatic brain injury cases that left the sufferer with permanent injuries. In a 2009 case, we represented a nine year old child who suffered a concussion in a car accident with a drunk driver. We were able to secure a sizable, confidential settlement for the child and his family, paying for medical bills. Those funds were also invested in a structured settlement fund that pays for the child to attend college.

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