Judge Approves Nearly $1 Billion Deal in NFL Concussion Suit

A federal judge has approved a plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits that could cost the league $1 billion over 65 years.
6:25 | 04/22/15

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Transcript for Judge Approves Nearly $1 Billion Deal in NFL Concussion Suit
Developing right now a federal judge gives the okay with 65 year deal over and that falcon conscience. That's settlement would resolve thousands of lawsuits filed by former players and crude costly close to a billion dollars. Hello I'm tired Hernandez in New York following this developing story for us ABC's Aaron picture if he hello Aaron and when we. Died this settlement at K is about two years in the making twice before judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia has sent it back to both sides. To revise the terms but today she said she is satisfied that the settlement is fair and appropriate. She'd been concerned that 765. Million dollars the NFL was willing to set aside. To a Culver players and all of their their medical needs over the next 65 years just wasn't going to be. Enough the NFL has now agreed to remove the cap. And so this is expected to cost at least a billion dollars over the next 65 years. No matter what players some 20000. Of them who have or retired and who will retire if they suffer. Anything from to mention it's all Summers even death with CTE. Then. They and their families are going to be covered. Aaron how players qualify for pay out on this scale. Well they're going to be tested medically in that there is some routine testing just to make sure that. Retired players know whether they have some kind of problem but beyond that. If they do they would go for some kind of a diagnosis and then the amount of money that they would be awarded. Would be based on what it is they they have that resulted from repeated concussions on the field. And there are categories from mild to moderate dementia all the way through alzheimer's bail lasts parkinson's. Through till death. And Aaron what is the NFL sad about it planned public. Well they've they've issued a brief statement and the NFL has said that they should give retired players access to substantial benefits. Without having to go into court which could be not only costly for them. But only serve to delay. The money that many of them will need to urgently in order to defray the cost of their medical bills and so the NFL sees this as a win. The retired players have been concerned some of them anyway that this wasn't enough even if this cost the league a billion dollars over 65 years. That seems paltry for the behemoth that is the NFL. Now you know billion dollars does count significant but there are some give backs to the NFL as well there are things according to the agreement now that they do not have to disclose. Well amid the concern was that if these lawsuits had gone to trial. Of 1 of the central arguments the players were making is that the NFL knew the risks of playing a violent game and it new. That repeated head trauma was linked to some of these long term illnesses. But no players said that the NFL he would. What they knew especially when they testified before congress as recently as 2010. The NFL of course has denied this but had these cases gone to trial they're may have had to have been a public disclosure of what the NFL knew and when. And now since the cases will not be going to trial as a result of this negotiated settlement. The NFL is. Probably under no obligation to ever disclose what it knew way. He's Aaron to her ski thank you her. Our reporting and here with more on the financial impact for the NFL ESPN's. Darren about Darren this deal could potentially cost a billion dollars how's it broken down. Well basically Aaronson the diagnosis happens and then depending on what you had from. That moderate to mild dementia all Aaliyah to death by CTT. He. As a result of repeated concussions you can get. Up to five million dollars so. That and then the cat being removed that's why it went from 765. 1000002. Above a billion and perhaps beyond depending how many of these players could then prove. Through a doctor you know that they have had these conditions and then get that money based on the condition that they hat. How is this a win for the NFL and could they also the same time face more lawsuits in the future. To win for the NFL because for so long they were at the league of denial and I think at some point they realized. As medicine prove that these hits were related to the shortened life expectancy of these players. That as brains were tested by the EU and and some other schools that showed that this was from concussions they couldn't get away from it so when they couldn't get away from it. And all these lawsuits piled up. They had to minimize their liability and that's exactly what they did of course players. Pardon and not all players are party in this and some players can. Decide that they want to go on the outside but I think for the most part this helps along the tremendous liability that they had hanging out there that. That hurt their business. Billions of dollars is that revenue that the NFL brings in every year and I I keeps it up to ability can be more than a billion there is no cap uses this as significant amount of pay out well. How it's a total almost laughable drop in the bucket. You know the NFL over the last three years is gone from ten billion to eleven billion to twelve billion so. I'm not gonna say that that growth trajectory rule happened for the next 65 years and and albeit seventy billion by the time or eighty billion by the time this lawsuit is done but. The fact is that this. By minimizing their liability here. They've helped me the ID the idea that you you really can't buy a team if you know. That there's all this stuff hanging out here the Z they minimize their liability this is exactly what they did and for a billion dollars. It will be. A Smart drop in the bucket. I'm yes plans to about thank you so much for joining us. And you keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news happened starring the story for exclusive updates on the go on tax Hernandez and more.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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