A federal judge has denied a settlement in the lawsuit brought by more than 4,000 retired NFL players against the league. The parties agreed on a $765 million settlement just prior to a the negotiating deadline set for early last September.
The suit contended that the players suffered cognitive damage from playing in the NFL and that the league hid the dangers of playing football from them. The settlement awarded players more than three-quarters of a billion dollars and allowed the NFL to not admit any wrongdoing.
Judge Anita Brody doubts the funds set aside will last as long as the plaintiffs may need it and objects to restrictions on the players suing the NCAA or other amateur sporting bodies. She explained, “It is difficult to see how the Monetary Award Fund would have the funds available over its lifespan to pay all claimants at these significant award levels.”
Litigants include such star players as Tony Dorsett, Ken Stabler, and Eric Dickerson. It also includes hundreds of men cut from teams in the preseason who never made their way into an actual NFL game.