Settlement in lawsuit against the NFL moves forward in court - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Settlement in lawsuit against the NFL moves forward in court

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Former NFL players just moved one step closer to settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the NFL. (Source: POOL/CNN) Former NFL players just moved one step closer to settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the NFL. (Source: POOL/CNN)

(CNN) – It’s as official as it gets: a federal judge in Philadelphia has approved a preliminary settlement reached nearly a year ago as part of a class action lawsuit filed by thousands of former football players against the National Football League.

The NFL agreed to pay for baseline neurological exams, concussion-related compensation, medical research, and legal expenses.

The landmark deal marks the beginning of the end of a legal fight by thousands of players.

“We knew there was going to be some aches and pains and some joints some ligaments that may be damaged, we signed up for that, fine. Not being able to remember any of this? Didn't sign up for that,” retired NFL player Dorsey Levens said.

Both players and the NFL leadership have testified in front of Congress on the issue.

"After my second concussion I was escorted into the training room where I flat lined,” former NFL player Merrill Hoge said.

"I think the biggest issue for us, and for every player at every level in every sport as was pointed out here, is to make sure that they're aware of the issues that come when you have a concussion. It is a serious injury," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

The injuries have become serious and rampant, with hundreds of concussions reported among players in recent years: there were 261 reported concussions in 2012 and 228 in 2013.

There is no cap on the amount of money available and players will receive compensation for 65 years.

A hearing to assess the fairness of the outcome of the case is scheduled for November, likely ending a long battle that began on the field and ending in court.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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