Basic Information

1. What is the Settlement about?


Plaintiffs sued the National Football League and NFL Properties LLC (the Settlement Agreement refers to both of these as the “NFL Parties”), claiming that Retired NFL Football Players received head trauma or injuries during their NFL Football careers, which caused or may cause them long-term neurological problems. They accused the NFL Parties of being aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries, but failing to warn and protect players against those long-term risks and ignoring and concealing this information from players. The NFL Parties denied these claims. After extensive settlement negotiations, the Plaintiffs and the NFL Parties ended the litigation and agreed to this Settlement. Click here to read the Recitals of the Settlement Agreement, which contain more detail about the underlying claims that were brought against the NFL Parties.

2. What are the benefits of the Settlement?


Benefits under the Settlement include:

1. The Baseline Assessment Program, which provides baseline neuropsychological and neurological examinations for eligible Retired NFL Football Players and additional medical testing, counseling, and/or treatment if they are diagnosed with moderate cognitive impairment during their baseline examinations (every qualified Retired NFL Football Player will be eligible to receive one free baseline assessment examination during the term of the Settlement Program);


2. Monetary Awards for diagnoses of Death with CTE before April 22, 2015 (the Final Approval Date), ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (moderate Dementia) and Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (early Dementia) (click here to read more about the injury descriptions in Exhibit 1 to the Settlement Agreement) and Derivative Claimant Awards for people who assert a right to recover based on their relationships with Players who receive Qualifying Diagnoses. All valid claims under the Settlement, without limitation, will be paid in full throughout the 65-year life of the Settlement Program; and


3. Education programs promoting safety and injury prevention with respect to football players, including safety-related initiatives in youth football, the education of Retired NFL Football Players regarding the NFL’s medical and disability programs and other educational programs and initiatives.


The Baseline Assessment Program and claims process for Monetary Awards are administered independently of the NFL Parties and any benefit programs that have been created between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

3. Who is included in the Settlement Class?


The Settlement Class includes three groups:

Retired NFL Football Players. All NFL Football players (including American Football League, World League of American Football, NFL Europe League and NFL Europa League players) who were on any Member Club or league’s roster, including preseason, regular season, or postseason before July 7, 2014, but who, on or after July 7, 2014, were no longer under contract to a Member Club (whether signed to a roster or signed to any practice squad, developmental squad, or taxi squad of a Member Club).

Representative Claimants. Authorized representatives, who are ordered by a court or other official, of deceased, legally incapacitated or incompetent Retired NFL Football Players. Both “incapacitated” and “incompetent” mean that the Player is unable to look after his own affairs.

Derivative Claimants. Someone who has a right to recover because he or she has a certain relationship with a living or deceased Retired NFL Football Player (for example, a Player’s spouse who asserts the right to recover because of her husband’s injury). These relationships may include spouses, parents, children, or other relationships depending on the state law that applies to the person.

4. Who are the settlement administrators?


The settlement administrators are the person(s) or entities appointed by the Court to perform their assigned responsibilities under the Settlement Agreement to take all steps necessary to implement and administer the Settlement Agreement faithfully. The Court has appointed these experienced administrators:

  • BAP Administrator: Garretson Resolution Group, Inc. (“GRG”) was appointed to implement and administer all Baseline Assessment Program-related provisions of the Settlement Agreement. The BAP Administrator’s duties include, without limitation, retaining and overseeing the Qualified BAP Providers and Qualified BAP Pharmacy Vendor(s); scheduling BAP baseline assessment examinations; holding and keeping confidential any medical records and Settlement forms completed by the Qualified BAP Providers; and establishing procedures for BAP Supplemental Benefits.
  • Claims Administrator: BrownGreer PLC was appointed to implement and administer the Settlement Agreement. The Claims Administrator’s duties include, without limitation, providing monthly financial reports to the Special Masters; maintaining the Settlement Website and call center; establishing and processing registration; processing, reviewing and auditing Claim Packages and Derivative Claim Packages; determining whether Settlement Class Members are entitled to Monetary Awards or Derivative Claimant Awards and any other tasks necessary to administer the Settlement Agreement, as agreed to by Co-Lead Class Counsel (click here for an FAQ about these lawyers) and Counsel for the NFL Parties.
  • Lien Resolution Administrator: GRG was appointed to administer the Lien-related provisions of the Settlement Agreement. The Lien Resolution Administrator’s duties include, without limitation, administering the process for identification and satisfaction of applicable Liens (though Settlement Class Members, or their lawyers, are responsible for satisfying and discharging all Liens).
These administrators could change in the future by agreement of Co-Lead Class Counsel and Counsel for the NFL Parties and/or approval by the Court.

5. Who are the Special Masters?


The Court appointed Wendell Pritchett, the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania and the Presidential Professor of Law and Education at Penn Law School, and Jo-Ann M. Verrier, Vice Dean for Administrative Services at Penn Law School, as Special Masters to oversee certain aspects of the operation and administration of the Settlement Agreement on its behalf. Their duties include reporting and providing information to the Court; hearing appeals of registration determinations and of claim appeals at the Court’s request; and overseeing: (1) the settlement administrators; (2) complaints from Co-Lead Class Counsel, Counsel for the NFL Parties, or the settlement administrators; and (3) fraud detection and prevention processes. For more information about the role of the Special Masters, click here to read Section 10.1 of the Settlement Agreement.

6. What if I do not like how the settlement administrators or Special Masters are administering the Settlement Agreement?


The settlement administrators and Special Masters welcome your concerns, which you can email to the Claims Administrator at ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com. While they are protected by Court Order from lawsuits against them except for willful misconduct (click here to read the June 14, 2017 Orders on the Settlement Website (click the documents called “Order Regarding Extension of Quasi-Judicial Immunity to Settlement Entities” and “Order Regarding Extension of Quasi-Judicial Immunity to Special Masters”)), they are also sworn to uphold the Settlement Agreement.

7. Do the settlement administrators report to Co-Lead Class Counsel or the NFL Parties?


The settlement administrators were appointed by the Court and must report to the Special Masters and the Court. Under the Settlement Agreement, the Claims Administrator, BAP Administrator and Lien Resolution Administrator are also required to provide information on the progress and status of the Settlement Program to Co-Lead Class Counsel, Counsel for the NFL Parties and the Special Masters. The Claims Administrator publishes reports on the Reports & Statistics page of the Settlement Website (click here to see them).

8. Does the Claims Administrator share the contents of my Claim Package with Co-Lead Class Counsel or the NFL Parties?


Yes. If a Settlement Class Member is eligible for a Monetary Award or Derivative Claimant Award, the Claims Administrator will make his or her Claim Package or Derivative Claim Package available to the NFL Parties and Co-Lead Class Counsel, as required by the Settlement Agreement (click here to read Sections 9.1(d) and 9.2(c) of the Settlement Agreement).

9. Does the Claims Administrator share the contents of my Claim Package with any other people or entities?


Section 17.2 of the Settlement Agreement requires all information about a Retired NFL Football Player that is disclosed to or obtained by the Special Master, settlement administrators, designated Qualified BAP Providers, the NFL Parties, an AAP doctor, the AAPC, or the Court, be treated as Confidential Information and, where applicable, as Protected Health Information subject to HIPAA and other applicable privacy laws. The Court also entered an Order about when Claims Information can be disclosed. Click here to read the March 23, 2017 Order Regarding Retention, Exchange, and Confidentiality of Claims Information, which defines confidential Claims Information and details when the Settlement Entities may exchange or disclose Claims Information.

Someone who is not a Settlement Class Member or his or her lawyer may use a “Legal Process” to ask the Claims Administrator to produce a specific Settlement Class Member’s Claims Information. The Confidentiality Order defines Legal Process as a “subpoena or other legal process, including from a bankruptcy trustee, received by or addressed to a Settlement Entity requiring the production of Claims Information.” Those seeking a Settlement Class Member’s Claims Information through a Legal Process must provide the Claims Administrator with copies of the relevant order or subpoena establishing his or her authority to request the Claims Information.
   
Also, a Settlement Class Member may authorize someone to receive his or her Claims Information by submitting a signed Authorization for Release of Claims Information that identifies clearly the Specifically Authorized Recipient and Settlement Class Member whose Claims Information is to be released. Click here to download this authorization form.

10. How do I authorize the Claims Administrator to speak to someone else about my claim?


You can use the Authorization for Release of Claims Information, known as “Appendix A” because it was Appendix A to the Court’s Order on the handling of confidential Claims Information (click here for this form).

Be sure to include in the form:

(a) Your Name and Settlement Program ID in Section A;


(b) The name of the person to whom you want to authorize the release of information and any contact information for him or her in Section B;


(c) A brief description of the purpose for which the recipient will use the information in Section B; and


(d) Your signature in Section C.


Submit your completed and signed Appendix A to the Claims Administrator by uploading it through the Portal, emailing it, or mailing it.

Reminder: The Settlement Class Member granting the authorization, not the person who is being authorized to receive information, must sign this Appendix A form. While the Claims Administrator may release information to a “Specifically Authorized Recipient” listed in a signed Appendix A, the Claims Administrator will not take any action on a Settlement Class Member’s claim at the request or direction of a Specifically Authorized Recipient. The Court’s March 23, 2017 Order Regarding Retention, Exchange, and Confidentiality of Claims Information, available here on the Settlement Website, contains more information about this Appendix A and the extent to which information can be released to a Specifically Authorized Recipient.

11. When was the Effective Date? What is it?


The Effective Date was January 7, 2017. This was the date that all appeals of the Court’s approval of the Settlement Agreement ended and the Settlement became final and effective.

12. How does the Claims Administrator calculate the number of days I have to respond to a notice or take other actions in the Settlement Program?


Section 2.1 of the Settlement Agreement says that all references to “day” or “days” are to calendar days. Any time period set by the Claims Administrator is calculated as follows:

(a) Day One of the time period is the day after the event triggering the time period.


(b) Every day counts, including Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.


(c) If the last day of the time period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.


(d) Legal holidays are New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and any other day declared a holiday by the President of the United States or the United States Congress.


If the acting or responding party receives notice by mail instead of through his or her Portal account, three days are added to any time period for an action or submission. For example, if the deadline to respond to a notice is January 1, 2018, but the Settlement Class Member receives his notices by mail, he must respond by January 4, 2018.

13. If I have to respond to the Claims Administrator by a deadline, what is considered the date of my response or submission?


The Claims Administrator considers a document submitted as of these dates:

(a) Online: The date the user submits a document using his or her Portal account, according to his or her local time.


(b) Email: The date someone sends an email, according to his or her local time. Email is allowed only for registration information. Do not send confidential Claims Information to the Claims Administrator by email.

   

(c) Mail: The postmark date showing the date it was mailed. If there is no postmark date on the item or the date printed is illegible, the date of receipt by the party to whom it was mailed controls.


(d) Overnight Delivery: The date the sender placed the item in the hands of the overnight carrier.


(e) Hand Delivery by Courier: The date the item is received by the party to whom it is delivered.


14. If I opted out of the Settlement, can I still get benefits from this Settlement?


No. If you opted out, you are not eligible for any of the Settlement benefits. You cannot seek or receive a Baseline Assessment Program exam, a Monetary Award or a Derivative Claimant Award, or anything else the Settlement provides.

Reminder: A list of all Settlement Class Members who opted out of the Settlement is available on the Settlement Website (click here and then "Timely and Complete Opt Outs").

15. I opted out of the Settlement. May I revoke that Opt Out and get back into the Settlement Program?


You may ask to revoke your Opt Out by sending a written request to the Claims Administrator (click here for the Opt Out Revocation Request Form, which you can download and print from the Settlement Website). The Claims Administrator will present your request to Co-Lead Class Counsel and the NFL Parties for their consideration. If they consent, they will submit your request to the Court for approval.

16. If I am a Settlement Class Member who did not opt out of the Settlement, can I sue the NFL Parties for the same thing later?


No. You gave up the right to sue the NFL Parties for all of the claims that this Settlement resolves unless you opted out.

17. Can I still opt out of the Settlement?


No. The deadline to opt out of the Settlement was October 14, 2014. It is too late to opt out now.

18. What if I do not like the terms of the Settlement Agreement?


The chance to object to the Settlement Agreement has passed. If you are a Settlement Class Member and did not opt out of the Settlement by October 14, 2014, you gave up the right to sue the NFL Parties for all of the claims the Settlement resolves and you are bound by terms of the Settlement Agreement and Final Order and Judgment. The Court granted final approval of the Settlement Agreement on April 22, 2015. Click here to see the Final Approval Order and Judgment (dated April 22, 2015) and Amended Final Order and Judgment (dated May 8, 2015).

19. Are there any tools on the Settlement Website to help me understand the Settlement Agreement and how to make a claim?


Yes. The Claims Administrator created several tools with information that may be helpful to you. Some of these tools are also referenced in other FAQs, where they apply. This table summarizes each tool (click on a document name below to view it):

 

Document Name

Explanation of Document

1.

Forms and Instructions

Page that contains all the official forms and instructions you will need to pursue a claim and receive payment in the Settlement Program

2.

How to Calculate Eligible Seasons

Explains the League, Roster Type, Game Type and Game Count requirements for proving an “Eligible Season” and “Half of an Eligible Season” defined by the Settlement Agreement

3.

Injury Definitions

Exhibit 1 to the Settlement Agreement, which describes the requirements for each Qualifying Diagnosis

4.

Monetary Award Grid

Breaks down the value of Monetary Award claims by Qualifying Diagnosis and the Player’s age when he was diagnosed

5.

Diagnosis and Review Table

Details who can make each Qualifying Diagnosis, the criteria used to make that diagnosis and the review standard used by the Claims Administrator or AAP to evaluate the diagnosis

6.

Guide to Raw Scores

Explains the difference between Raw Scores and Raw Data, as well as other types of scores

7.

Guide to What Medical Records “Reflect” a Qualifying Diagnosis

Contains a non-exhaustive list of examples of the type of references in medical records that “reflect” each Qualifying Diagnosis

8.

Payment Process Timeline

Lays out the steps in the payment process to explain how long it can take to get paid in the Settlement Program

9.

Overview of Derivative Claimant Process

Summarizes how claims for Derivative Claimant Awards are handled



20. Where can I find the Special Master’s or the Court’s published decisions on appeals or statute of limitations matters?


The Special Masters and the Court specify in each decision whether it is to be published on the Settlement Website. The Claims Administrator posts all published decisions on the Settlement Website and on the Portal of each Portal user. These decisions can be found on the Home page of your Portal account, if you have one. You also can find these decisions on the Published Decisions page of the Settlement Website, available by clicking here.

21. How do I get more information about the Settlement?


These FAQs summarize the Settlement. Click here to read the entire Settlement Agreement and all its Exhibits. The Claims Administrator posts reports about the Settlement Program. Go to the Home page of the Settlement Website and click the “Reports & Statistics” menu option to access them. You may also contact the Claims Administrator for more information by calling 1-855-887-3485, emailing ClaimsAdministrator@nflconcussionsettlement.com, or writing to P.O. Box 25369, Richmond, VA 23260.

DO NOT WRITE OR TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE NFL PARTIES FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT.

Reminder: The Claims Administrator and BAP Administrator can both be reached by calling 1-855-887-3485. If you have questions about the BAP, select the “BAP Administrator” call option to be routed directly to the BAP Administrator.

22. How do I report potential fraud to the Claims Administrator?


If you suspect or know of any potential fraud concerning the Settlement Program, you can report it to the Claims Administrator by phone (1-844-812-5666) or email (ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com). You can also click here to report fraud using the online form created by the Claims Administrator.

You can report the potential fraudulent activity anonymously and confidentially, regardless of the method you choose. If you provide the Claims Administrator with your contact information, the Claims Administrator will keep your information confidential to the extent possible.

When reporting potential fraud, include as much detail as possible so that the Claims Administrator can fully investigate the activity, such as when the activity happened, who is involved, how you know about the activity and if any other person(s) may have information about the activity.

23. What if my situation or circumstances are not covered by these FAQs?


These FAQs explain how the Settlement Program works. If an issue comes up that these FAQs do not address, the Claims Administrator will consider the facts on a case-by-case basis to determine the appropriate course of action, including whether to adopt a new rule/FAQ to address the issue. Not every question can be anticipated and provided for in advance. Also, the Claims Administrator and the Special Masters have the discretion to interpret and apply the rules and policies in these FAQs to follow best practices for the Program, which may require some flexibility in certain situations. Contact the Claims Administrator by phone (1-855-887-3485) or email (ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com) if you have an issue that is not covered in these FAQs.