Judge Asks NFL to Reveal Concussion Secrets


For close to a decade, the NFL has been accused of not taking players’ health as seriously as they claim to do, especially when it comes to concussions, which have led to players dealing with severe head trauma after they leave the game. It has also caused some players to retire early out of fear of long term health damage. Some believe that the league’s failure to significantly address the issue, has led to the decline in ratings as more people are tuning out. However, it hasn’t had an impact on NFL betting.

Over the past few seasons, the NFL has implemented a concussion protocol that requires teams to have independent medical consultants on the sidelines to monitor if players exhibit any concussion like symptoms. The new rules also require teams to remove players from games and put them into the league’s concussion protocol if they show signs of having a concussion after being hit.

Despite the NFL’s attempts to make the game safer for players, a New York state judge is forcing the NFL to reveal how the league’s medical officials have handled the issue of brain injuries in the past two decades.

Justice Jeffrey K. Oing issued an order on Monday that will help insurance companies determine if the NFL knew about the dangers of concussions and intentionally kept them from the players. The decision by the judge is considered a bold move because it will help determine whether the insurers will pay for a class-action lawsuit against the league by over 5,000 retired players accusing the league of negligence and fraud because they were not informed about the risks of repeated hits to the head.

Both sides reached a settlement, which covered all the retired players with the exception of those who opted out, but the settlement is currently under appeal. The NFL agreed to pay an unlimited amount of damages to former players that have neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The league also agreed to pay for their medical monitoring.

The estimated cost of the settlement is expected to reach $1 billion, with individuals receiving up to $5 million, depending on the severity of their condition, when they were diagnosed with the disease, and how much time they spent in the league.

After the settlement was reached, the NFL asked the insurers who handled NFL policies in the late 1960s to pay the settlement and cover the league’s legal fees. However, the insurance companies refused to pay the settlement because they were unable to determine if the NFL committed fraud, which is something they believe will absolve them from having to pay the settlement.

Justice Oing had delayed making a ruling on the case while the settlement was being finalized, but at the last minute, players that objected to the settlement filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. Since legal experts believed the appeal was a long shot, Oing decided to resume hearing arguments in the insurance case.

After he was unable to get the two sides to come to an agreement, Oing decided the insurance companies to proceed with their discovery, which has the potential to unearth some information that might be damaging to the NFL.

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