A court filing by a group of former NFL players who were part of the class action lawsuit against the league regarding concussions claims that the league is failing to meet its obligations under the settlement agreement.
“The NFL seeks to rig the Settlement system,” the filing reads. “This is part of the league’s DNA. Historically, it has always engaged in scorched-earth litigation, and that is what the League is doing here, making this a Settlement in name only.”
The filing states that of more than 1,100 dementia claims filed by ex-players to date, only six have been paid out, despite the NFL’s projection that 430 claims would be paid out within 12 months of the settlement agreement’s implementation. It also states that more than half of all claims have been placed into audit or denied, causing delays of payment with no end in sight.
The filing also states that the NFL is manipulating the claims system and attempting to substitute its own clinical judgments for that of board-certified neurologists and neuropsychologists:
Gene Locks, the attorney that submitted the filing, also requested that the court grant him more authority over the player class, due to his firm’s familiarity with the inner-workings of the case (it represents more than 1,100 players) and the aligned interests of the players involved. His firm claims that the firm of Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the class, cannot adequately represent the interests of the class.
The Washington Post, citing a source, said the league would respond to these claims as follows: “Ninety-four percent of the claims rewards have not been challenged on appeal. In the overwhelming bulk of the awards made so far, the NFL has not filed an appeal. I just don’t think the statistics lie and there’s certainly been an emphasis on the few disappointed players and their representatives to try to suggest something — mainly that the league is obstructing the settlement process — when the actual facts are completely the opposite.”
The full court filing can be read below.