Fund Capital America provides legal funding for a wide range of cases, including NFL concussion lawsuits. Concussion claims aren’t uncommon in football. Over 20,000 retired players and representative claimants have registered with the NFL Settlement Program as of September 2022.1 However, race-based adjustments in dementia testing have made it difficult for Black retirees and working football players to receive payments from concussion claims.
In 2019, two former NFL players filed a civil rights lawsuit, bringing to light the use of “race-norming”. This is a practice in which a lower cognitive baseline score is used to test Black people for dementia, obscuring possible mental declines linked to football. Critics of the policy say the practice has prevented hundreds of players from winning awards that average about $600,000 per settlement, according to NFL.com.2
New Changes Aim to End Race Discrimination
Earlier this year, Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody dismissed a previously filed race discrimination lawsuit. Nonetheless, she ordered the underlying problem to be addressed and approved negotiated changes. The decision came after months of closed-door negotiations between NFL lawyers, a class counsel, and others.
What This Means for Affected Retirees
Black retirees can now have their previous tests rescored using an updated race-neutral model. The settlement also permits new rounds of cognitive testing. Numerous players are impacted by the decision, as according to NPR, 70% of active players and over 60% of living retirees in the league are Black.3 The concussion fund pays settlements for early and advanced dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other serious brain injuries.
Concussion settlement payouts began in 2017. Since then, lawyers voiced suspicion about white men qualifying for awards at a rate two to three times that of Black players. However, experts say the binary scoring system for dementia testing, while factoring socioeconomic background, wasn’t meant to help value court settlement payouts.
The NFL has said it hopes the new formula will be applied in various areas of medicine.
Will the Deal Lead to More NFL Concussion Settlements?
As of March 2022, just 3 in 10 claims have been paid while one-third have been denied.2 Many claims remain in review by claims administrators, audit investigators, medical and legal consultants, and judges. The process means waiting long periods of time for final decisions. In the past, insurance executives have requested demographic information from the NFL, with details on who has applied for the program, who has been denied, and who has been paid.
To learn more, visit the NFL Concussion Settlement website.
Get Your Pre-Settlement Funding from Fund Capital America
If you’ve been injured as an NFL player, we can provide legal funding until your case is settled. The NFL concussion settlement may increase your chances of receiving a payout. Apply now for fast approval of non-recourse funding and no out-of-pocket costs. To learn more about our pre- and post-settlement funding, settlement fee acceleration, and cash advance refinancing programs, call 855-870-2274 today.