NFL official links football, CTE; could it affect $1B deal?

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2010, file photo, New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau (55) warms up on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass. Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety, acknowledged a link between football and the brain disease CTE for the first time Monday, March 14, 2016. Among the players found to have CTE in their brains were Hall of Famers Seau and Ken Stabler. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Critics of the NFL’s proposed $1 billion plan to settle concussion claims say a league official’s acknowledgement of a link between football and the brain disease CTE is a game changer.

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia is weighing a challenge to the settlement that would exclude future cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The pending deal would instead pay for prior deaths involving CTE and for illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Critics want the plan expanded to include future CTE cases.

NFL senior vice president Jeff Miller told a congressional panel Monday that brain research on former NFLplayers “certainly” shows a link between football and CTE.

The NFL has long argued otherwise.

Lawyer Steven Molo urged the court Tuesday to expand the settlement based on Miller’s comments.

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