US & Canada

NFL concussion settlement worth $1bn is 'close'

American football players (file image) Image copyright Getty Images

A deal worth $1bn (£655m) designed to compensate US football players for head injuries suffered during their careers is set to be approved, lawyers said.

More than 4,500 former players had sued the National Football League (NFL), saying it hid the dangers of concussion-related trauma.

Some case lawyers say they want to get money to players now by settling the deal.

Others believe the settlement is not enough and the NFL should pay more.

The deal has already been granted preliminary approval by Judge Anita Brody, district court judge in Philadelphia where the settlement agreement was filed.

But she asked that it be revised by Friday to include wider compensation coverage, according to lawyers.

The settlement is designed to cover players who develop dementia or neurological problems related to concussions suffered during their professional careers.

In total it is expected to cover about 20,000 now-retired NFL players over the next 65 years.

But lawyers have questioned why it does not cover future pay-outs for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), seen by some as the injury synonymous with football-related concussion.

The condition, which can cause depression, rage and other mood disorders, can only be diagnosed after death.

However some scientists believe there may be tests for the living within 10 years.

"We have been screaming that CTE is the most serious... injury that will occur to these players over time," said Chicago lawyer Thomas Demetrio.

Judge Brody rejected a previous deal last year, saying it would not be sufficient to cover 20,000 NFL retirees.

Related Topics

More on this story