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Steve Harrelson was successful in participating in the class action lawsuit involving concussions and brain injuries resulting from years of play.  A $1 Billion settlement was reached with the NFL, NFL Properties, and retired NFL players (and their family members).  The retired NFL players filed suit due to the NFL’s failure to warn players of potential brain injury (along with failing to disclose pertinent information it knew of the damages associated with participation).

The Concussion Legacy Foundation, with the assistance of qualified experts, has made findings that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) can be the result of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

CTE is a neurodegenerative disease associated with repeated head trauma.  Scientists involved in this case believe that repeated head trauma can cause CTE, a degenerative disease of the brain.  Symptoms include depression, aggression and disorientation, but scientists can only definitively diagnose it after death.  In addition to CTE, a number of retired NFL players who suffered concussions ultimately developed memory and cognitive issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression.  Steve Harrelson actively pursued a claim in this litigation that involved severe repeated head trauma.

While the lawsuit was a combination of hundreds of actions brought by more than 5,000 ex-NFL players, the settlement applies to all players who retired on or before July 7, 2014.  It also applies to the family members of players who died before that date.  More than 200 former players opted out of the settlement to the lawsuit.  The lawsuit included many retired NFL players with serious medical conditions resulting from severe repeated head trauma.

Among the players involved in the suit included Art Monk, Tony Dorsett, Jim McMahon, and Jamal Anderson.  Steve Harrelson was honored to represent family members of a former Arkansas Razorback and NFL great in this NFL class action settlement.

Diagnosed concussions in the NFL may be more common than initially thought.  Statistics from recent years are as follows:

  • 2012 – 261
  • 2013 – 229
  • 2014 – 206
  • 2015 – 271

Steve Harrelson is glad to see that the NFL is taking action on this issue.  The NFL and NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) implemented a new policy in 2016 to enforce concussion protocol. Teams violating the policy are subject to discipline, through fines or losing upcoming draft picks.

While participation in this particular suit is limited.  Steve Harrelson, a personal injury lawyer licensed in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, stands ready to help those who have suffered similar head trauma.


Steve Harrelson is the founding partner of the Harrelson Law Firm, P.A.and is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas with offices in Texarkana and Bentonville.