Former players of the U.S. National Football League (NFL) suffering from years of hard hits to the head got good news Monday when a federal judge ruled in their favor on compensation claims.
The ruling comes about two weeks after the NFL agreed to remove a $675 million cap on damages for head injury claims, including brain damage and dementia.
More than 20,000 retired players can now vote on the settlement. Lawyers for more than 4,500 former players had sued the league.
The federal judge in Philadelphia argued that the new "uncapped" settlement "ensures that there are sufficient funds available to pay all claims through the 65-year term of the settlement, and improves the manner in which diagnoses are made to protect against fraud."
A top NFL official called the decision comprehensive and said the league will work with the plaintiffs to implement the terms. Retired players who have or develop profound neurological problems could receive $1 million or more.