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Key Hearing In Concussion-Related Lawsuits Set For Philadelphia Courtroom

Concussion-related lawsuits filed on behalf of Junior Seau and thousands of other former NFL players will get a crucial hearing tomorrow, when the NFL will ask a federal judge in Philadelphia to dismiss the suits.

Aired 4/9/13 on KPBS News.

The concussion-related lawsuit filed against the NFL on behalf of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau will face a crucial test in Philadelphia.

Junior Seau in 2009, when he played with the New England Patriots.
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Above: Junior Seau in 2009, when he played with the New England Patriots.

Former NFL players contend the league deliberately ignored and concealed the risks of repetitive brain injuries. The family of former Charger Junior Seau says the numerous concussions he suffered contributed to his depression and ultimate suicide last year.

Lawyers for the NFL will argue the suits deal with labor issues that fall under the league's collective bargaining agreements. The NFL says the disputes don't belong in court; rather, they should be settled by grievance procedures and arbitration.

Billions of dollars are at stake.

The federal judge hearing the case is not expected to rule immediately. And even if the case is ultimately allowed to go to trial, the process could take years to play out.

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