NFL, the Neuro-Cognitive Benefits Plan and …the release!

nfl con3The  ex NFL players who are suing  the NFL  in the concussion lawsuits, that played after 1994, have a decision to make: accept the benefits under this plan, or continue to purse my claim against the NFL . The release however will not waive any future workers’ compensation claim he may have against a team.

The release of course is as solid and large as they can make them in the USA. See for yourself, as the following is the text of the RELEASE AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE that Players must agree to  in order to obtain the Neuro-Cognitive Disability Benefit:nflimagesCASMYSS4

‘In consideration for the benefit provided under Article 65 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL Management Council and the NFLPA, Player, on his own behalf and on behalf of his personal representatives, heirs, next of kin, executors, administrators, estate, assigns, and/or any person or entity on his behalf, hereby waives and releases and forever discharges the NFL and its Clubs, and their respective past, current and future affiliates, directors, officers, owners, stockholders, trustees, partners, servants and employees (excluding persons employed as players by a Club) and all of their respective predecessors, successors and assigns (collectively, the “NFL Releases”) of and from any and all claims, actions, causes of actions, liabilities, suits, demands, damages, losses, payments, judgments, debts, dues, sums of money, costs and expenses, accounts, in law or equity, contingent or non-contingent, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected (“Claims”) that the Player has, had, may now have, or may have in the future arising out of, relating to, or in connection with any head and/or brain injury of whatever cause and its damages (whether short-term, long-term, or death) whenever arising, including without limitation neurocognitive deficits of any degree, and Player covenants not to sue the NFL Releases with respect to any such Claim or pursue any such Claim against the NFL Releases in any forum.  This release, waiver and covenant not to sue includes without limitation all Claims arising under the tort laws of any state and extends to all damages (including without limitation short-term and/or long-term effects of such injury and death) whenever arising, including without limitation after execution of this release, waiver and covenant not to sue.  Player further acknowledges that he has read and understands Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which reads as follows:

            A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know

            or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if

            known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor.

Player expressly waives and relinquishes all rights and benefits under that section and any law of any jurisdiction of similar effect with respect to the release of any unknown or unsuspected claims released hereunder that Player may have against the NFL Releases.  This release, waiver and covenant not to sue shall have no effect upon any right that Player may have to insurance or other benefits available under any Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL Management Council and the NFLPA, or under the workers’ compensation laws, and Player acknowledges and agrees that such rights, if any, are his sole and exclusive remedies for any Claims.

Player acknowledges and agrees that the provision of the benefit under Article 65 shall not be construed as an admission or concession by the NFL Releases or any of them that NFL football caused or causes, in whole or in part, the medical conditions covered by the benefit, or as an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the NFL Releases or any of them, and the NFL Releases expressly deny any such admission, concession, liability or wrongdoing.’

Paul D.Anderson, a lawyer specialized in the NFL concussions litigations, has  mitigated views on the Neuro-Cognitive Disability Benefit plan, since he says: ‘I applaud the NFL and the NFLPA. I am hopefully optimistic that this is a step in the right direction to ensuring players are able to have a quality life after retirement. However, if history is any indicator, the Disability Board may be quick to deny claims – but I hope that will not be the case.’

For more info, please click here to read Paul D. Anderson full article ‘NFL and NFLPA Finalize Neuro-Cognitive Benefits Plan’

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One thought on “NFL, the Neuro-Cognitive Benefits Plan and …the release!

  1. Having read aspects of the Neuro-Cognitive Disability Application, below are some initial thoughts re the contents of the NFL Neuro-Cognitive Disability Application.

    Overall to reduce any wiggle-room for disallowing legitimate claims:

    A) essential / core terms shoud be defined

    B) more precise information should be provided within the contact as outlined below

    C) and all board evaluators should be independent and free from any biasing conflicts of interest..

    Obviously, other issues exist such as concern re signing off on pending lawsuits..

    ===============================================

    1- I believe the application should have the following 3 terms operationally defined in clearly worded, specific and measurable terms:

    a) neuro-cognitive
    b) mild
    c) moderate

    and that clear examples of such symptoms that lead to corresponding diagnoses be provided within the application / contract.

    2- All possible / acceptable neuro-cognitive symptoms / impairments should be listed and clearly defined within the contract /application. This comprehensive list is recommended to ensure there is no misunderstanding of such terms that are deemed allowable symptoms / impairments under the contract / application.

    3- All the plan’s current Medical Advisory Physicians and neutral physicians be listed in writing by name, educational background and specialty / specialties upon graduation from medical / graduate school. Furthermore, conflicts of Interest should be acknowledged / denied by each evaluator.

    When any additions in the Medical Advisory Physicians and / or neutral medical evaluators occur, the corresponding educational and training information of the newly appointed doctor should be available in writing and within the application / contract. Again, conflicts of Interest should be acknowledged / denied by each evaluator.

    4- The plan should include and clearly define and discuss all possible procedures, tests, assessments, observations, and any other measures of information that are allowed to be included and utilized within a neuro-cognitive medical exam and / or a neuropsychological assessment.

    5- Written reasons why the Medical Advisory Physician and / or neutral medical evaluator did not utilize certain evaluation approaches within the overall assessment and corresponding interpretation of findings should also be clearly provided within the context of the clinician’s evaluation report findings.

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