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NFL concussion settlement given preliminary approval

Posted On: Jul. 7, 2014 12:00 AM CST

A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a multimillion-dollar settlement that will compensate retired football players suffering from concussion-related injuries and illnesses.

The settlement includes an uncapped amount to be paid by the NFL for the next 65 years, according to an order that U.S. District Court Judge Anita B. Brody issued Monday in Philadelphia.

The NFL had proposed a $765 million settlement in January, which Judge Brody rejected over concerns that the amount would be inadequate to cover claims from more than 20,000 NFL players.

The settlement includes $75 million for a baseline assessment program to evaluate the neurological health of eligible retired NFL players, and an additional fund to pay cash awards to players who have a qualifying diagnosis or receive one in the future, court records show.

Court documents show potential payments include up to $3 million for neurocognitive impairment, $3.5 million for Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, $5 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It also includes $4 million for players who die and are later found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Those award amounts can be reduced based by factors such as a player's age and the number of NFL seasons played.

The settlement approval notes that players who receive awards from the NFL fund are not required to release claims against the NCAA or any other amateur football organizations for concussion claims.

A fairness hearing on the settlement is scheduled for Nov. 19.