Report: Seau family opting out of NFL settlement

SAN DIEGO - The family of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau will not be part of a multi-million dollar concussion settlement with the NFL, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported Tuesday.

Opting out means the Seau family will move forward with their own wrongful-death lawsuit.

The Seau family had previously expressed disappointment with the settlement to the class-action lawsuit, which was brought by more than 4,500 players.

In August 2013, the NFL and the players reached a $765 million settlement, which included $75 million for baseline testing and $10 million for research. However, in June of this year, the NFL agreed to remove a $675 million cap on damages.  The deal would provide payments to players who are diagnosed with certain neurological impairments.

The NFL settlement would also pay up to $4 million on behalf of players like Seau, diagnosed after their deaths with traumatic brain injuries.

In January, Seau’s family said they were unhappy that the fund would not specifically pay "wrongful death" claims. The family lawyers said their wrongful-death lawsuit seeks compensation not for Seau's pain and suffering, but for his children's.

Seau’s family filed its own wrongful-death lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court in January 2013 against the NFL and athletic equipment-makers Riddell Inc.

"For many decades, evidence has link repetitive mild traumatic brain injury to long-term neurological problems," the complaint reads. "The NFL was aware of the evidence and risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries for many decades, but deliberately ignored and actively concealed the information from the players, including the late Junior Seau."

Seau committed suicide in May 2012 in Oceanside at the age of 43. A toxicology report found he had Ambien in his blood.

Following his death, his brain was donated to the National Institutes of Health, who diagnosed him with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, which is the result of violent head trauma.
Seau spent most of his 20-year career with the Chargers.

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