Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
During recent NFL seasons, a main theme has been concussions and former
players’ lawsuits. Today’s settlement of the lawsuit brought
by former NFL players against the NFL for deliberately misleading players
about concussion risks brings attention to the importance of taking concussions
seriously. The settlement fund is intended to fund medical exams, concussion-related
compensation and medical research. More than 4,500 former football players
were plaintiffs in the case, many believing that their neurological problems
were the results of on-field concussions. In the lawsuits, they accused
the NFL of hiding known risks of concussions. The NFL
"has denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that safety always has
been a top priority."
Hoping to avoid a repetitious need to constantly address the topic, the
timing of the settlement allows the NFL to begin the new season with the
With the concussion cases now settled, the questions about what the NFL
knew and when it knew about concussion-linked brain problems will not
have to be answered and the NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee
inner-workings remain a secret. "… In a series of scientific
papers from 2003 to 2009, members of the NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain
Injury Committee wrote that ‘no NFL player’ had experienced
chronic brain damage from repeated concussions." In 2005, the NFL
series on concussions research concluded that chronic brain injury "has
never been reported in American football players." The authors of
the study, published in the medical journal "Neurosurgery,"
included three members of the NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
While the NFL experts were denying a link between football and long-term
brain damage, the NFL’s retirement board concluded that players
did suffer brain damage. According to a joint investigation by
ESPN’s "Outside the Lines" and PBS’ "Frontline" show, the NFL retirement board began paying disability benefits to players
in the late 1990s and 2000s, concluding that football caused their brain injuries.
According to the mediator, former U.S. District Judge Layne Phillips, this
was "a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL
players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will
promote safety for players at all levels of football. Rather than litigate
literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the
parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief
and support where it is needed at a time when it is most needed."
"It’s been a struggle to get to this point, but today I will
say I’m very proud that the NFL has decided to stand up for all
the former players who are suffering from brain injuries," said Kevin
Turner, a former running back for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England
Patriots, during a teleconference.
"Today is so important for those who are … hurting. This will
bring help for them today."
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial
Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan
Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer
of the Year" (2011). He has been rated by
Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 100" lawyers (out of more than 80,000 attorneys) in the entire metropolitan
area. The magazine also describes him as
"one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident
claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and
work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against
truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority,
and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest
settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri
has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by
Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by
Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2013)– national publications that honor the
top lawyers in America.
If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email
Mr. Zambri at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 202-822-1899.