By Steve Almasy and Jill Martin, CNN Wed April 22, 2015
- Former player says he hopes benefits start soon for those afflicted retirees in need of financial help
- All players who retired before a certain date are eligible to submit claims
- League calls the settlement fair
(CNN)A federal judge has given final approval to a class-action lawsuit settlement between the National Football League and thousands of former players, the league said.
The agreement provides up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma.
While the lawsuit was a combination of hundreds of actions brought by more than 5,000 ex-NFL players, the settlement applies to all players who retired on or before July 7, 2014, according to Judge Anita Brody's 132-page decision.
It also applies to the family members of players who died before that date.
More than 200 former players opted out of the settlement to the lawsuit, which accused the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions. They can sue the NFL separately.