Will Concussion Lawsuits Bankrupt The NFL?

Given the recent flurry of lawsuit targeting the NFL due to its action (or lack thereof) regarding concussion injuries to players, it’s a good thing that the league is sitting on a hefty pot of gold. A recent article in The Toronto Star discussed the financial health of the National Football League and the impact the thousands of lawsuits might have on its future.

According to reporters with The Star, the NFL collectively brought in more than $9 billion in revenue last year. Superlatives abound. Tickets to the Super Bowl went for thousands of dollars and companies eager for 30 seconds of airtime forked over a record high of $3.8 million for an ad at this year’s big game. That money might come in handy given the lawsuits that are mounting against the organization.

So far, some 4,000 players and former players have filed suit against the NFL, filing civil actions and workers compensation claims. The former players say that they suffered severe brain injuries while playing professional football and that the NFL never did its job of protecting its employees. They say the league failed to inform the players of the lasting harm that repeated head injuries can cause, despite being aware of the trouble such hard hits might lead to.

The class action suit against the NFL will be a lengthy case. Many experts believe the suit will take at least another year and a half to wrap up. Though the litigation is in its early stages, experts who are familiar with the matter say they believe the claims could wind up costing the NFL as much as $10 billion. One economics professor says that if estimates come in at the lower end, say $100 million, the financial damage will be minimal. If the figure is more like $1 billion, then the NFL won’t be bankrupt, but will have some much leaner times. If the figure is on the high end of estimates then teams better be prepared for disaster.

Another major risk for the NFL’s future is the possibility of being priced out of business by worried insurers. It’s not just the league that’s on the hook after all; players are also suing its insurance companies. Insurance companies are said to be anxiously awaiting a final resolution in the cases. Premiums are already on the rise and will likely skyrocket if the suits end up costing a fortune. If the costs to ensure the enterprise become so great, expect real changes in the current professional football system in America.

Pope McGlamry P.C., currently represents former professional football players for injuries and damages sustained as a result of suffering concussions while playing football, and is actively involved in this litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source:NFL concussion lawsuits: Will looming settlements dismantle the league’s lucrative business model?,” by Morgan Campbell, published at TheStar.com.

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