Concussion claims top $500m in first two years of programme

More than $500m in claims were approved as of Monday under the NFL’s concussion settlement, nearly a decade earlier than league officials estimated they would reach that amount.

Claims administrators released a report on the concussion settlement that showed those funds had been released in less than two years.

The NFL’s reports previously had estimated the payouts would be slightly more than $400m in the first 10 years.

Attorneys for the retired players adjusted their estimates on the total payout of expected claims earlier this month, saying the settlement would likely reach $1.4bn almost a half billion more than the NFL originally estimated.

“We encourage all eligible former players to immediately sign up for a baseline assessment, and they can take comfort in knowing that compensation will be available for more than 60 years if they develop a qualifying condition,” said Christopher Seeger, co-lead class counsel for the former NFL players.

“The fact that $500m in claims have been approved in less than two years proves that this settlement is fulfilling its promise to former NFL players and their families.”

As of Monday, the claims administrator said 7,343 medical appointments to assess neurological baselines had been made and more than 6,000 had been attended.

The settlement, which took effect January 2017, resolved thousands of lawsuits that accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the risks of repeated concussions.

It covers retired players who develop Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their pro careers. Individual awards could be as much as $5m.

On Monday, Seattle Seahawks’ Josh Perry retired at the age of 24 after six concussions.

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