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NCAA Reaches Proposed Settlement in Concussion Lawsuit

The NCAA has agreed to establish a settlement fund of $70 million for a 50-year Medical Monitoring Program and another $5 million for concussion-related research as a part of its agreement to resolve claims in several consolidated concussion-related class actions pending in federal court in Chicago. Under the proposed settlement agreement, all current and former NCAA student-athletes in all sports and divisions who competed at an NCAA member school may qualify for physical examination, neurological measurements and neurocognitive assessments.

The settlement also provides for significant changes to and enforcement of the NCAA’s concussion management policies, including the requirement of baseline testing before each season for every player; the prohibition of same-day return-to-play for athletes diagnosed with a concussion; the requirement that a concussed athlete be seen by a physician before being cleared to return to play; the presence of medical personnel trained in the diagnosis and management of concussions at all contact sports games; the implementation of reporting mandates for all concussions and their resolution; and education regarding concussions, as well as academic accommodations, for students, coaches, trainers, physicians and teachers. The proposed settlement is subject to approval by Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The settlement does not provide monetary damages or payment for medical expenses associated with concussion- related injuries. Under the terms of the settlement, student-athletes seeking compensation for personal injury claims as well as any other claims unrelated to medical monitoring relief will have to pursue those claims on an individual basis.

The Dugan Law Firm has been heavily involved in the NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Litigation and continues to represent student-athletes with their claims against the NCAA and Riddell for medical monitoring and compensation for the long-term injuries and financial losses suffered by athletes as a result of the NCAA’s misconduct and failure to implement proper concussion management and player safety protocols. The Dugan Law Firm was recently appointed by the Court to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC) and has assisted in the overall efforts to reach this historic settlement which provides medical benefits now and in the future to all NCAA student-athletes and their families.

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