Settlement Agreed Upon In NCAA Concussion Lawsuit
According to an article featured on USA Today, a settlement has been reached between former athletes and the NCAA over several concussion related lawsuits, that were initially filed three years ago. The settlement requires the NCAA to change the guidelines regarding concussion management as well as provide $75 million to go towards research and monitoring of concussions.
The U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, John Z. Lee, is required to give preliminary approval in order for the settlement to proceed. Following this, he will determine whether the terms are “ fair, adequate, and reasonable”; however, this could take months.
The agreement will require the NCAA to not only put in place a consistent concussion management protocol as well as define return-to-work guidelines, but it will also require the association to enforce these rules at member schools. Currently schools are only required to have a concussion management program in place; however, aren’t reprimanded or penalized if said program is not executed or followed. The proposed monitoring program will establish “a 50-year medical monitoring program for all current and former NCAA athletes in any sport [...] with $70 million going for screening for long-term damage and $5 million going to research.”
Four of the plaintiffs, that originally sought damages in the suit, will not be awarded a sum in this settlement; however, they as well as other players will keep the right to file their own individual lawsuits against the NCAA for personal injury.
“There wasn’t really a good way to deal with that on a class basis,” said Siprut, “so the best we could do was create a platform for people to be able to make those claims individually.”
“In sum, Plaintiffs likely could not have achieved the same victory – a comprehensive Medical Monitoring Program for all living NCAA athletes under 50 states’ laws and significant changes to the NCAA’s concussion-management and return-to-play guidelines – on a contested basis.”