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.