|[July 29, 2014]
Hagens Berman: NCAA Concussions Settlement to Provide Medical Monitoring, Change Approach to Head Injuries
SEATTLE --(Business Wire)--
Attorneys representing NCAA student-athletes today filed a proposed
settlement that will provide a 50-year medical-monitoring program for
student-athletes to screen for and track head injuries; make sweeping
changes to the NCAA's approach to concussion treatment and prevention
and establish a $5 million fund for concussion research, according to
attorneys at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.
The settlement has been reached in agreement with the NCAA and has been
filed with U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee. The parties are currently
seeking preliminary approval of the settlement so that notice can be
sent to class members and a final approval hearing can be scheduled.
"For years, we have witnessed the significant impact that concussions
have had on student-athletes and are gratified to reach such a
significant settlement that will provide certainty, safety and
measurable guidelines of player health," said Steve Berman, managing
partner of Hagens Berman and lead attorney representing the class of
athletes. "We believe that the relief provided by this settlement is a
major accomplishment in ensuring the safety of student-athletes."
The proposed class includes all NCAA student-athletes.
"Much attention has been paid to concussions in football, but this
settlement protects student-athletes in all sports," Berman added. "The
NCAA has observed significant concussions in soccer, hockey and
lacrosse, and all contact sports will be protected by this settlement."
The settlement comes in light of the suit's allegations that the NCAA
has failed to uphold safety standards, putting the health and safety of
its student-athletes at risk for years, by failing to enforce
concussion-management policies and return-to-play guidelines.
"Th settlement does not preclude players from filing individual suits
against the NCAA for their injuries, which is huge for
student-athletes," Berman said. "This stipulation coupled with regular
player health examinations provided by the medical monitoring program
will benefit any players that choose to act individually in future
Benefit provided in the settlement consists of the four major areas:
A 50-year medical monitoring program will be overseen by a medical
science committee appointed by the court and will screen and track
concussions. Examinations will include neurological and
neuropsychological assessments to evaluate potential injuries.
According to the settlement document, the monitoring program will be
funded by a $70 million medical monitoring fund, paid by the NCAA and
A separate research component will also be funded through $5 million
dedicated by the NCAA and its members to examine the prevention,
treatment and effects of concussions.
A proviso allowing players the ability to individually sue the NCAA
for injuries, retaining any state law rights.
Significant changes to the NCAA's concussion management policies and
return-to-play guidelines. All players will now receive a seasonal,
baseline test to better assess concussions sustained during the
season. All athletes who have sustained a concussion will now need to
be cleared by a physician before returning to play, under the terms of
the settlement. Additionally, a medical professional trained in the
diagnosis of concussions will be present at all contact-sport games.
The settlement also stipulates reporting mandates for concussions and
More information about this and other NCAA-related concussion cases
brought by Hagens Berman is available at http://www.hbsslaw.com/cases-and-investigations/cases/NCAA-Concussion-Cases.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law
firm with offices nine cities. The firm has been named to the National
Law Journal's Plaintiffs' Hot List seven times. More about the law firm
and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com.
The firm's class-action law blog is located at www.classactionlawtoday.com.
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