Insurance companies say $997 million has been paid out as part of NFL concussion settlement

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The concussion settlement has already cost far more than the NFL had hoped.

After agreeing to remove a $765 million cap on the former players fund with certain qualifying conditions, the league has paid nearly $1 billion in claims.

An article by Daniel Kaplan of mentions that the insurance companies sued by the league have argued in court documents that the the number reached 997 million.

Kaplan’s article focuses on a new defense of insurance companies, which have refused to pay benefits to the league. The insurance companies argue that because the teams paid the amounts, the NFL itself — which filed the lawsuit — suffered no actual damages.

Sounds like a cute argument, the kind of crap that is regularly thrown against the wall by any company looking for some reason not to pay what it owes. The NFL is the teams and the teams are the NFL; that should be enough for the NFL to sue. And if that’s a problem, the NFL should be allowed to make the technical changes to the case.

Eventually (we hope) the 10-year fight will get to the real question. Did the NFL know about the dangers of head injuries and cover them up? Insurance companies argue that if the league knew, there would be no coverage.

Regardless of how this issue is resolved, the process (barring settlement) will shed light on an issue that the league has successfully swept under the rug by settling with former players. What did the NFL know, and when did it know, about the dangers of repeated blows to the brain?

Kristan F. Talley