The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

August 30, 2013

NFL to spend $765M to settle concussion lawsuits

(Continued)

"I think it's more important that the players have finality, that they're vindicated, and that as soon as the court approves the settlement they can begin to get screening, and those that are injured can get their compensation. I think that's more important than looking at some documents," said lawyer Sol Weiss of Philadelphia, who filed the first lawsuit on behalf of former Atlanta Falcon Ray Easterling and a few others. Easterling later committed suicide.

Sports law experts had thought the lawsuits might cost the league $1 billion or more if they went to trial. The NFL had pushed for the claims to be heard in arbitration under terms of the players' labor contract.

The league had also argued that individual teams bear the chief responsibility for health and safety under the collective bargaining agreement, along with the players' union and the players themselves.

Dorsett said each day is getting harder for him, as he struggles with memory problems.

"It's frustrating. Frustrating. And to have a 10-year old daughter who says to her mother, 'Daddy can't do this because Daddy won't remember how to do it,' it's not a good feeling," he said. "I'm glad to see there's been ... acknowledgment that football has had something to do with a lot of the issues us players are going through right now."

In recent years, a string of former NFL players and other athletes who suffered concussions have been diagnosed after their deaths with CTE, including both Seau and Easterling.

While some of those who sued suffered brain ailments, others were worried about future problems and wanted their health monitored.

"I'm relieved; I don't know about pleased. There are probably too many details to work through that we don't all understand yet, quite frankly. But I'm relieved that both sides came together to protect the game we all love and help the players of the past and tomorrow. And to especially help those who need help right now, who have cognitive issues and those whose quality of life has been taken away," said Mark Rypien, the MVP of the 1992 Super Bowl for the Washington Redskins.

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