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NFL settlement to lift cap on concussion spending

The National Football League reached a new settlement Wednesday with retired players on concussion funding.

Wednesday’s settlement expands the estimated $675 million cap required to fund the program, to being uncapped for any retired player who develops neurological problems like dementia, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Parkinson’s.

“This agreement will give retired players and their families immediate help if they suffer from a qualifying neurocognitive illness, and provide peace of mind to those who fear they may develop a condition in the future,” plaintiffs’ lawyers Christopher Seeger and Sol Weiss said in a statement.

In addition to the provided payout funds for players, expanding education on preventing concussions is next on the list of plaintiff demands. The NFL has already committed $10 million for this effort.

“Today’s agreement reaffirms the NFL’s commitment to provide help to those retired players and their families who are in need, and to do so without the delay, expense and emotional cost associated with protracted litigation,” NFL Senior Vice President Anastasia Danias said in a statement.

You can find out more about how concussion awareness is changing the sport of football for the more than one million elementary, middle and high school students who play every year on our Tough Calls page. The topic was also the focus of a NewsHour report in February.

The Student Reporting Labs program is part of the American Graduate project, a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.