The settlement has already turned out to be more expensive than the NFL expected.
The league has paid out nearly $1 billion in claims, after agreeing to remove the $765 million limit on funds dedicated to former players with certain qualification conditions.
An article by Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com noted that the number of insurers sued by the league, claiming in court filings, has reached $997 million.
Kaplan’s object is focused on a new defense by insurance companies, who have refused to pay benefits to the league. The insurance companies argue that, because the teams are paying the amount, the NFL itself – which brought the lawsuit – did no real damages.
It sounds like a crappy argument, the kind of shit that is routinely thrown against the wall by any company looking for any reason possible for not paying. There are NFL teams and teams are NFL; It should be good enough that the NFL sues. And if it is an issue, the NFL should be allowed to make technical amendments in the matter.
Eventually (we hope), the 10-year-old fight will get to the real question. Did the NFL know about the dangers of head injuries and hide them? Insurance companies argue that, if the league knew, there is no coverage.
Regardless of how that question is resolved, the process (barring a settlement) will shed light on the issue that the league managed to sweep under the rug by negotiating with former players. What did the NFL know about the dangers of repeated blows to the brain, and when did it know?