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Mediation may provide solutions in NFL concussion lawsuit

Los Angeles footbal fans may know that a federal judge has ordered parties in an NFL concussion lawsuit to participate in mediation in an effort to find a consensual resolution. The worker's compensation issue is huge for those former NFL players dealing with the aftermath of physical careers that have resulted in head injuries. The suit by more than 4,000 former players in the league addresses the need for financial compensation in the event of job-related brain injury.

The appointment of a retired U.S. district judge as a mediator was handled by the federal judge on the case. She has ordered each side to appoint its own mediator as well. A report is due in early September to provide information about the results of the effort prior to her making any rulings on an NFL motion to dismiss the suit.

The focus on the serious nature of brain injuries for NFL players is important as attention is drawn to the issue. Although injuries are common in the sport, the long-term implications can be life-altering, especially in the case of brain injuries. Mediation provides the parties with the opportunity to reach an agreement that will address the physical challenges and quality of life of injured players fairly. At the same time, continued progress toward safety on the gridiron can be pursued.

Los Angeles residents may recognize that professional sports injuries are on-the-job issues, exposing players to serious risks that can include permanent physical or mental impairment. In some cases, an injury during professional sports activities can be deadly. An individual injured in his or her capacity as a professional athlete may require the assistance of a worker's compensation attorney who is familiar with the responsibilities of employers in the case of workplace injuries. An experienced lawyer may be able to help in seeking compensation for medical expenses and living costs associated with a player's becoming disabled.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week, "Multibillion-Dollar NFL Concussion Lawsuit Goes to Mediation", Paul M. Barrett, July 09, 2013

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