A Philadelphia judge rejected the National Football League's $765 million settlement offer made to retired players suffering ill effects from concussions Tuesday, saying she feared it would not adequately take care of all those affected.
"Despite the potential benefits of class actions, their binding effect on absentee parties remains a significant concern," wrote U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in her opinion, according to NBC10 Philadelphia.
The proposal, agreed to by more than 4,500 former players after lengthy negotiations last summer, would cover about 20,000 players for 65 years, according to The Associated Press. But Brody said she was concerned about retired players yet to be diagnosed with brain injuries and their ability to get paid from the settlement.
The case came about as mounting numbers of ex-NFL players developed neurological conditions they say occurred because of their physically demanding careers. They argued the NFL knew of the risks and declined to take proper precautions to protect players.
The NFL denies any blame.
Brody said she thinks the agreement was reached in "good faith" and has asked both sides to collaborate to come up with an adequate solution.
The decision puts the NFL's concussion trouble - highlighted recently by the suicide last year of pro bowler Junior Seau - back in front of fans as the league heads into conference championship games this weekend.