Debilitated Players Accuse NFL of Stalling on Settlement Payments – New York Times

By KEN BELSONNovember 13, 2017

The families of debilitated former N.F.L. players say the league is obstructing their access to an estimated $1 billion settlement over concussions by reflexively rejecting valid claims and bogging down the process with unreasonable demands.

After a contentious five-year fight between the league and many former players who had accused the N.F.L. of hiding the dangers of head trauma, the two sides agreed in 2015 to a settlement that covers nearly every former player for the next 65 years.

Now the families and their lawyers describe a succession of roadblocks as they try to claim payouts, from as little as a few thousand dollars to potentially several million dollars, to help thousands of retired players left mentally infirm, in some cases severely, from years of hits and tackles on the league’s fields.

Of 1,400 claims filed so far, 140 have been approved, which legal experts say is startlingly low. The remaining 90 percent of those claims are either in the process of being evaluated or have been sent back to the players and their lawyers to amend before they can be approved.

The 140 approved claims are worth $195 million, but the N.F.L. has written checks for only $100 million. The remainder is expected to be released after appeals are exhausted. The league has appealed eight awards that the administrator granted, and 12 players have appealed their awards, calling them too low. The administrator also randomly audits 10 percent of all claims.

When the league agreed to the settlement several years ago, retired players were told that they could expect speedy payouts, assuming the diagnoses for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other ailments covered in the settlement were in order.

But the N.F.L. installed so many safeguards and trapdoors into the deal, lawyers for the players said, that in the eight months since the court-approved administrator

Read More Here...

This entry was posted in Football News. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.