November 22, 2016

Speaker 1: The hospitals are supposed to release these patients with a certain plan, either directly to an overnight facility or to family and with information about medical follow up. Those that don’t, the LA city attorney says, “he’s going to go after them.” Speaker 2: (Rochelle): Brian Rooney live from Los Angeles. Brian keep us posted. We’re finally learning some details about the NFL’s landmark 765 million dollar concussion settlement plan, and some former players they’re not happy about where the money is going. Michael Eaves joins us with the details. Lay it out for us. Speaker 3: (Michael): Well, basically it’s a lot of money, but maybe it’s not so much if you break it down. Exactly. $765 million, a total that represents the largest sports related settlement in history, but once you dive a bit deeper into that number you will find that former NFL players suffered from concussion related illnesses may not receive as much as first thought. The largest pay it available is five million dollars, for those who are suffering from ALS more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Now if a player dies and CTE is found in his brain, his family is eligible to receive up to four million dollars. Up to $3 will be available to former players with cases of dementia, but a diagnosis for any of these conditions must be made before the age of 45 in order for planned to receive the maximum amount. Only a handful of former players will qualify. The older the player, the less money he or his family receives. Joining us now from Tampa, Florida is Ted Corless, a trial attorney with the Corless-Barfield group, and now that we know more specifics about the settlement, Ted what exactly does this mean for those who accept its terms and for those who decide to opt out of the lawsuit. Speaker 4 (Ted): Yesterday, the representatives of the NFL as well as up to 18,000 players filed a motion with the court to approve a settlement that had been entered into last August, regarding a payment of $765 million. The way this money is going to be broken up is about $675 billion of it will be made available for compensation to players that suffer particular injuries or fall within the grid system as you mentioned. The rest of the money will go seventy five million of it to research on individual players who are asymptomatic, you know, who don’t have ALS or specific injuries that they can identify, and some of that money to educate people regarding some of the problems and the use of particular equipment. Michael: Now there’s some attorney fees involved in all the other testing and pay outs you mentioned, in total about $900 million total for the NFL, but the leagues annual revenue, Ted, is more than $9 billion. How good of a deal is this for the NFL? Ted: This, there is absolutely no downside to this particular settlement for the NFL. As you pointed out, right now the estimated revenue for the NFL is somewhere between 9 and 10 billion dollars. In 2025, it’s estimated to be 27 billion dollars. Let me put it this way if this settlement were being made with a publicly traded corporation, their stock wouldn’t even be affected by the settlement. Michael: And also by selling they don’t have to reveal any documents they may have as it relates to concussion related instances in the past. Now what bearing does this settlement have any on current or future NFL players? Ted: The reason why this particular settlement was available, is because of a lag time between 1987 and 1993, where there wasn’t a collective bargaining agreement and because there wasn’t there wasn’t a way to resolve these kinds of injuries or to waive these kinds of rights. Now players under a 2011 change in rules and the collective bargaining agreement are barred from bringing these kinds of cases. Michael: Ted Corless from the Corless-Barfield group, sorry didn’t mean to cut you off Ted. Ted: No go ahead, I’m sorry. Michael: I was thanking you for the insight tonight. Ted Corless, attorney from the Corless-Barfield group in Tampa, Florida. Now Rochelle, this money is expected. The league hopes to last for like 65 years and that’s why it’s really important what Ted was bringing up how their revenues will continue to go up although this money will stay still. And again about 19,000 former players are eligible for this settlement, but they also can opt out and file their own lawsuit against the NFL. Rochelle: So while it’s a drop in the bucket now, it will be a smaller drop. Michael: As the revenues of TV contracts get bigger, way more revenue. Rochelle: Alright Michael thank you so much. Helping the less fortunate. Speaker 5: We trying to get some coffee that’s what we trying to do. Speaker 6: You guys wanna go get some coffee? Speaker 5: Yeah! Rochelle: Why one teenager decided to clean out his closets, and take it to the streets. Plus wearable gadgets, it could be the next big thing to come out of the consumer electronics show. Speaker 7: An exclusive America tonight investigative series. We traveled here to Japan to find out what’s really happening at Fukushima, Daiichi. Three years after the nuclear disaster the hidden truth about the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could affect the safety of Americans. Are dangerous amounts of radioactive water leaking into the Pacific every day? Join America Tonight’s, Michael Okwu,  for an exclusive four part series as we return to Fukushima. Continues next only on Al Jazeera America. Speaker 8: If you had a choice between going bald and a full head of hair which would you choose? 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