Victims of NFL concussions are tired of waiting for their money. Frustrated that their clients aren't getting paid fast enough, lawyers for players entitled to a share of the league's billion-dollar class-action concussion settlement said the NFL needs help finding its wallet. Specifically, players claiming they are suffering from dementia have been slow to get paid because of a lengthy vetting process. According to a court filing via a report in The Washington Post, the players believe the NFL is trying to "rig the Settlement system," and the vast majority of those in line for a piece of the settlement first approved three years ago have yet to receive a single cent. "The NFL seeks to rig the Settlement system. This is part of the League's DNA," according to the filing. "Historically, it has always engaged in scorched-earth litigation, and that is what the League is doing here, making it a Settlement in name only." This piggybacks claims made in November that 10 months after the settlement finally was reached, only a small percentage of players were paid. At the time, one lawyer who represents hundreds of players called the NFL's administrative process "flawed, cumbersome and moves at a glacial pace." Five months later, it seems the trend continues. Payments are administered by a third party, but the NFL has reportedly only paid six of the 1,113 players of the group claiming they have dementia-related brain impairments in the suit. Those players received a total of $4.85 million, according to the report, which is well short of the $72.3 million that was supposed to be paid out to some 430 players with dementia in the first year of the settlement. To date, 183 players suffering from a multitude of medical issues beyond dementia have been paid a total of $150 million, though those numbers also came up short against projections of $423 million for 665 players in the first year of payouts. According to the Tribune, 143 more claims have been approved, but the $198 million they are due has not been paid out. Some cases are still subject to appeal.
Ex-NFLers say league is trying to ‘rig’ concussion settlement, dementia claims are going unpaid
New York Daily News | Mar 21