CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in the News

cte and legal funding

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is back in the news after a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the neurodegenerative brain disease was found in 99 percent of the brains of deceased NFL players that were donated to scientific research.

The study, conducted by neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, examined the brains of 202 deceased football players to determine the neuropathological and clinical features of deceased football players with CTE.

The study revealed that out of 202 deceased high school, college, and professional football players, CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. The study included brains of individuals who have been publicly confirmed to have had the disease, including Ken Stabler, Kevin Turner, Bubba Smith, and Dave Duerson, CNN reported.

Among CTE’s many symptoms are memory loss, confusion, dementia, and depression. It has long been associated with repeated blows to the head, as is common in football, but the NFL did not publicly acknowledge a connection between CTE and football until 2016.

In June 2015, a federal judge approved a class-action lawsuit settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players, providing up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. CTE is excluded from the list of medical conditions that would qualify a retired player for a settlement award.

A small group of retired players appealed the settlement on these grounds, stating that they disagreed with the NFL’s stance on CTE. But Philadelphia circuit judge Thomas Ambro stayed the $1 billion dollar settlement, calling its terms “imperfect but fair.”

What’s Next for Players

While there is still much to learn about CTE, including a deeper understanding of its causes and preventative measures, the study makes it clear that the link between the disease and football is no longer up for debate. The retired NFL players we’ve spoken to are hopeful that the NFL will eventually include CTE as a qualifying diagnoses under the terms of the settlement.

How Thrivest is Helping Plaintiffs Access Their Settlement Awards

Even though the settlement was approved more than two years ago, the award payout process will not begin until after ALL appeals have been filed or processed. Because the settlement was appealed, there is now a longer delay for those with a current diagnosis to receive the money they rightfully deserve to seek medical care. Thrivest has been working with retired NFL athletes to secure settlement advances so that these individuals can start undergoing treatment for potentially debilitating conditions.

According to the settlement website, the deadline to register as a plaintiff in the class action was August 7, 2017, but you may still register if any of these situations apply to you:

  1. You are a representative claimant who had not been ordered by a court or other official of competent jurisdiction to be the authorized representative of the subject deceased or legally incapacitated or incompetent retired NFL football player before August 7, 2017 and you register within 180 days of authorization by the court or other official of competent jurisdiction;
  2. You are a representative claimant for a retired NFL football player who timely registered before his death or becoming legally incapacitated or incompetent and register for that retired NFL football player; or
  3. You are a derivative claimant who registers within 30 days after the retired NFL football player with whom you claim a familial relationship submits a claim package.

Visit the official settlement website for more information.

How to Apply for a Settlement Advance on Your NFL Concussion Award

If you qualify for an award from the NFL Concussion Settlement and would like to obtain a post-settlement advance, please give us a call at 267-457-4540. One of our specialty finance experts will explain the details and answer any questions you may have. You can also check out our frequently asked questions. To apply online, simply fill out our brief application.