$75M NCAA Settlement Funds Medical-Monitoring Program for College Athletes
In 2013, Adrian Arrington, a former football player at Eastern Illinois University, filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claiming that the organization was negligent in establishing rules to manage, treat, and prevent concussions and other sports-related injuries. Last July, the NCAA announced that it would pay $75 million to settle the class action lawsuit. The settlement covers over 4 million former and current athletes in 43 different sports.
Instead of paying damages to athletes directly, the NCAA is devoting $5 million to concussion research and using the rest of the settlement to launch a medical monitoring program. The NCAA has updated their website with information about the settlement and details regarding the medical monitoring program: “If you played a National Collegiate Athletic Association (‘NCAA’)-sanctioned sport at an NCAA member school, you may be entitled to free medical screenings and may receive free medical testing, known as ‘medical monitoring,’ up to two times over the next 50 years.”
According to the NCAA, any athlete can be a member of the Settlement Class so long as they played an NCAA-sanctioned sport at an NCAA member school prior to July 15, 2016. Furthermore, because an athlete doesn’t need a previous concussion diagnosis to be a member of the Medical Monitoring Class, over 4 million people may be eligible for the medical monitoring program.
Brian Hainline, chief medical officer for the NCAA, issued the following statement in a press release: “The measures provided through this agreement will allow qualifying student athletes access to medical screening and evaluation to assist the student athletes’ treating physicians with their whole health care. The NCAA remains committed to identifying advancements to address head injuries in NCAA sports.”
The medical monitoring program will be available for 50 years and is a positive first step in providing treatment options to concussion victims. The NCAA is planning to streamline the process by having interested parties complete and submit a screening questionnaire. A panel of doctors will examine the results to determine if a full evaluation is necessary. There will be 36 evaluation sites located across the country, and mileage reimbursement is available to current and former athletes who live over 100 miles away from their closest evaluation centers.
As part of the settlement agreement, the NCAA has also promised to:
- Create new safeguards for student athletes.
- Develop a concussion reporting structure.
- Establish baseline concussion testing and return-to-play clearance requirements.
- Ensure that trained medical personnel are available at games and practices.
Questions About Your Legal Options? Call Shrader & Associates, LLP
The sports injury attorneys at Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. have a comprehensive understanding of the various cognitive, motor, and physical injuries that can stem from a concussion. If you’ve suffered medical complications from your days as a university athlete, contact our skilled legal team today. We can help you hold this billion-dollar industry accountable for your losses.
Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 to schedule a free consultation.