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US panel mulls merge of NFL concussion suits

MIAMI - A federal judicial panel in Miami is considering whether to consolidate lawsuits filed around the country by more than 300 former NFL players seeking damages for concussions they suffered.

MIAMI - A federal judicial panel in Miami is considering whether to consolidate lawsuits filed around the country by more than 300 former NFL players seeking damages for concussions they suffered.

The NFL has asked that the lawsuits be merged before a judge in Philadelphia. They have been filed in Florida, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia and elsewhere. Plaintiffs include former stars Ottis Anderson, Mark Duper, Tony Dorsett, Jim McMahon, Lem Barney and others.

The lawsuits accuse the NFL of negligence and misconduct in how it responded to player complaints of health problems after suffering concussions. The league denies any wrongdoing and says safety has always been a top priority.

The hearing Thursday is before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The panel typically issues decisions within a few weeks.