Potential $1 billion NFL concussion deal approved in court

FILE - In this March 11, 2013, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes questions during a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal judge has approved a potential $1 billion plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits filed by retired players.

The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia someday. The settlement approved by a federal judge Wednesday would pay them an average $190,000.

The awards could reach $1 million to $5 million for younger men diagnosed with Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease, or for chronic brain trauma-related deaths.

The lawsuits accuse the league of hiding what it knew about concussion risks. The NFL denies the claims.

Players’ lawyers say the settlement will help families get money or medical testing sooner than if the case went to trial.

The deal could cost the NFL more than $1 billion over 65 years.

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