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Appeals court upholds $1B NFL concussion settlement

PHILADELPHIA -- A federal appeals court has upheld a potential $1 billion plan by the NFL to settle thousands of concussion lawsuits filed by former players.

The decision released Monday by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes almost a year after a revised deal was approved.

Critics appealing the settlement had argued that any deal include future payments for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain decay found in dozens of former players after their deaths.

The appellate judges acknowledge those points in the 69-page ruling but found the settlement was for the greater good of all players.

The settlement would resolve thousands of lawsuits and cover more than 20,000 NFL retirees for the next 65 years. The league estimates that 6,000 former players, or nearly three in 10, could develop Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia.

The settlement grants up to $4 million for prior deaths involving CTE, but it set an April 2015 cutoff date to avoid incentivizing suicides.

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