Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Opposition to N.F.L. Settlement Centers on Coverage for Neurological Disease -

Opposition to N.F.L. Settlement Centers on Coverage for Neurological Disease -

by Ken Belson

During his nine-year career as an N.F.L.linebacker, Jesse Solomon was a solid contributor, a 12th-round draft pick who rarely missed games despite numerous injuries. After 116 games with five teams, he retired in 1995 after a quadriceps tendon separated from his kneecap.
Solomon returned to school to get teaching and coaching certificates and became a high school football coach and gym teacher. But over the years, the thousands of head hits and injuries to his neck, shoulders, hands, knees and feet took their toll. Solomon was depressed and prone to outbursts, had continual headaches and was forced to leave his job.
When Solomon applied for N.F.L. disability benefits, two doctors, including a neurologist appointed by the league and the players union, said Solomon “probably is demonstrating features” of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a degenerative neurological disease that has definitively been diagnosed only in autopsies.
The N.F.L. denied some of the benefits Solomon sought, a decision he is fighting. Solomon, 51, may also get nothing from the N.F.L.’s settlement with retired players, who say the league hid from them the dangers of concussions. In that deal, only the estates of players who died and were found to have C.T.E. from 2006 to this July, when the proposed settlement was approved, are eligible to receive cash awards of up to $4 million.
Any former players with C.T.E. who died after July will be excluded. So will any of them who receive a C.T.E. diagnosis while living, if such a test is approved in the future.
Cyril Smith of Zuckerman Spaeder, which represents Solomon in his case against the N.F.L.’s disability board and in the concussion settlement, said: “C.T.E. has its own symptoms, and to carve it out from the compensable diseases is like taking lung disease out of a settlement on smoking. If you don’t take care of this, have you settled this fairly? We think no.”
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment