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NFL concussion lawsuits consolidated in Philadelphia court


PHILADELPHIA—Four lawsuits filed by former National Football League players over concussion-related injuries have been consolidated in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order Tuesday consolidating an NFL-related lawsuit in Philadelphia with three similar lawsuits filed in California. Judge Anita Brody will hear the cases, the order said.

The panel says it is considering 16 "potentially related" lawsuits from other NFL players that also could be consolidated in the case. Plaintiffs in the NFL lawsuits also have asked for some of the cases to be heard in Atlanta, Miami and New Jersey, the order said.

A hearing was held last week in Miami to discuss whether 21 lawsuits from several NFL players should be combined. Plaintiffs in the cases allege the NFL misled them about the dangers of concussions, and say they suffer from various neurological and cognitive problems related to head injuries.

Riddell Inc., the league's official helmet maker, is named as a defendant in some of the suits.

Plaintiffs attorneys have said they expect the NFL to use an exclusive remedy defense in the lawsuits.

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