Debilitated Players Accuse N.F.L. of Stalling on Settlement Payments
By bouncing claims back to players, the administrator is trying to address “some funny things
that didn’t look right,” and to ensure that when claims are finally evaluated, they have a better chance of being approved, Seeger said.
installed so many safeguards and trapdoors into the deal, lawyers for the players said,
that in the eight months since the court-approved administrator of the settlement began accepting claims, many players have been forced to spend months scrounging for paperwork they did not think they had to keep, finding new doctors to confirm established diagnoses and lodging time-consuming appeals.
In this case, some former players have “pushed the envelope,” he said, by, among other things, obtaining diagnoses from psychologists, not
neurologists; having doctors affirm diagnoses without examining patients; or submitting claims without the necessary medical records.
Jim Acho, a lawyer in Michigan who represents former players, including Gale Sayers, said
that just four of the nearly three dozen claims he had filed were approved, and that two of those were audited.
“There have been no changes in the terms of the settlement agreement or the criteria for claims
approval since the settlement was finalized,” Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the N.
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.