Players and families affected by concussion issues in the NFL and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, are urging U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia to reject the settlement in its current form. About 5,000 players have sued the league seeking damages for head injuries. In July, Brody granted preliminary approval to a revised deal in which the league would pay at least $675 million in cash to retirees suffering from a list of qualified injuries including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Medical monitoring and educational programs bring the total settlement to $765 million. The league estimates it will have to pay out no more than $900 million. Since 2005, CTE has been discovered in the brains of at least 76 deceased NFL players. Many families and experts on CTE claim that the settlement as it stands will not cover many players with degenerative problems and they take issue with a provision that a suicide by the injured player will be more lucrative for the family than dementia care, which is not wholly covered. Judge Brody will consider final approval of the settlement today.
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