Judge Tells N.F.L. to Reveal Some Secrets About Concussions

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Justice Jeffrey Oing issued an order that will let insurance companies determine if the N.F.L. knew about the dangers of concussions and deliberately concealed them from players.

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Pool photo by Thomas Iannaccone

A New York state judge is forcing the N.F.L. to reveal something it has desperately tried to keep secret: how the league’s medical officials handled the issue of brain injuries over the last two decades.

On Monday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey K. Oing issued an order that will let insurance companies that wrote policies for the N.F.L. determine if the league knew about the dangers of concussions and deliberately concealed them from players. The issue is central to whether the insurers will pay for a class-action settlement brought by more than 5,000 retired players who accused the league of fraud and negligence because they were not told about the risks of repeated head hits.

The N.F.L. is likely to appeal Justice Oing’s ruling.

The settlement, which covers all retirees except for a few dozen players who have opted out, was completed but…

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