A U.S. federal appeals court has upheld a $1 billion plan by the National Football League to settle a brain concussion lawsuit filed by thousands of former players.
About 200 retired players had objected to the deal first approved in 2015, arguing it did not include compensation for players who have not yet shown signs of the degenerative brain disease that researchers suspect is triggered by repeated blows to the head.
On Monday, a three judge panel in Philadelphia acknowledged those arguments in a 69-page opinion, but said the settlement addressed the broad needs of all players. It concluded that research into football-related head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE, is not yet conclusive, while noting that many of the symptoms associated with CTE, including memory loss, are eligible for compensation.
CTE has been found during autopsies of several high-profile former players, two of whom committed suicide years after retiring. The settlement grants next of kin up to $4 million for prior deaths involving CTE.
Last month, the NFL for the first time acknowledged a connection between football and CTE.