Up to ten retired NFL players, including former star running back Willis McGahee, have filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the league’s benefits plan, its board of trustees and Commissioner Roger Goodell in federal court.
Per a report from The Washington Post, these former players are accusing Goodell and the board members for the league’s disability plan of “systematically denying benefits by lying about and misinterpreting the results of their medical examinations and the plan’s guidelines.”
The lawsuit alleges that the NFL, in an effort to suppress disability costs, routinely steers players to financially biased doctors. Former Jets defensive back Eric Smith is one of the players who filed this lawsuit.
“I’m trying to look out for all the other guys that have gone through this and gotten the short end of the stick with these evaluations,” Smith said, via The New York Times.
Players also alleged when their appeal denied disability claims, the plan’s board would ignore federal law requiring them to fairly review all evidence, and instead overly relies on the opinions of these biased doctors.
The suit seeks unspecified financial damages and the removal of the plan’s board.
“After years of putting their bodies and brains on the line with the NFL’s promise of assistance should they need it, these former players deserve far more than a sham process in which there is little to no chance of success,” said the four law firms involved in the case, including Seeger’s, in a statement. “It is shameful that an organization worth billions of dollars is depriving former players of their rightful benefits.”
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