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Federal judge OKs preliminary NFL concussion settlement

Federal judge OKs preliminary NFL concussion settlement
Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon speaks during a news conference on June 17. McMahon, who has been battling dementia, is among a group of former NFL players who have sued the league over its handling of player concussions. (Stacy Thacker / Associated Press)

A federal judge on Monday approved a multimillion-dollar preliminary settlement offer between the NFL and lawyers for the more than 4,500 former players seeking damages for concussion-related injuries.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody comes after the league agreed to removed a cap limiting  compensatory damages after Brody expressed concerns that the proposed $675 million cap was not enough money to pay eligible former players.

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FOR THE RECORD

July 7, 2:20 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said that judge had approved a $765-million settlement. There is no cap on compensatory damages in the preliminary settlement.

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In exchange, the NFL can challenge any claim. It had been limited to 10 challenges per year under the previous proposal.

The NFL must pay all valid claims for the next 65 years, Brody wrote in a court memorandum ruling.

The settlement offers all retired NFL players neuropsychological and neurological evaluations to determine the existence and extent of any cognitive deficits, according to the memorandum.

Players with a qualifying diagnosis can receive cash awards depending on the diagnosis.

Follow @jpanzar for breaking news.

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