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Judge: NFL must pay benefits for ex-player's brain injury

BALTIMORE -- A federal judge has ordered the NFL's pension plan to pay higher disability benefits to a retired player who apparently is suffering from an illness caused by multiple concussions.

Judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled last week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that the pension plan must pay former linebacker Jesse Solomon football degenerative benefits.

Solomon began his 9-year career with the Minnesota Vikings in 1986 and played for six teams. His suit claimed that he had sustained 69,000 full-speed collisions.

According to court documents, in order for a player to receive higher football degenerative benefits, the disability must have manifested within 15 years of retirement. The documents say the pension plan's board ruled that Solomon had not become totally and permanently disabled until after the March 31, 2010, deadline.