Meyers & Flowers Represents Over 140 Former Professional Football Players as the NFL Unfairly Denies Concussion Settlement Payouts
0 11 Y
Our team of trial attorneys is continuing to represent tens of dozens of retired professional football players in a class action lawsuit seeking damages for the debilitating injuries our clients suffered during their time playing in the National Football League (NFL).
The topic recently made headlines after an ABC News investigation exposed evidence further accelerating the accusations that the NFL is promoting the deliberate skewing of neuropsychological testing scores to warrant unjustifiable denial of benefits under the landmark concussion settlement. Numerous clinicians tasked with evaluating the eligibility of former NFL players for payouts have voiced concerns that the testing process and protocols discriminate against Black players.
Allegations that the NFL knowingly hid risks associated with concussions have been circulating for years following several high-profile deaths. After purposefully masking the underlying dangers for short of a century, the National Football League’s concussion settlement was agreed upon in 2017 to pay out more than $1 billion for victims of serious brain injuries due to repeated head impact, such as A.L.S., Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia. Unfortunately, the process was not as clear-cut as claimants had hoped as the NFL showed unwillingness to award fair compensation.
Thus far the settlement has played out unethically, with merely 5% of qualified former players involved in the suit having their claim approved and deemed eligible for payment. Claimants are insisting a controversial practice known as “race-norming”, the practice of adjusting test scores to account for the race or ethnicity of the test-taker, may be to blame. The practice uses different benchmark standards for Black players than their white peers, assuming Black players started off at a lower cognitive level than white players.
The NFL has repeatedly renounced the use of racial corrections to interpret test results, instead alleging the organization leaves their use to “the sound discretion of the independent clinicians administering the tests in any particular case.” But ex-players are claiming that such adjustments are, in fact, mandatory.
The accusations are hard to refute as the NFL’s concussion settlement program manual recommends the use of a “full demographic correction”, in which players’ neuropsychological scores are compared to “norms” for similar demographic groups, and then adjusted to consider differences in age, gender, education, and race. As a result of inappropriately “norming” players scores, Black players are presumed to have suffered drastically less neurological decline than in actuality, making it significantly harder to qualify for financial compensation.
According to emails sent through private forums, diagnosing clinicians disclosed that the corporation’s protocols overrule their professional judgement, sometimes leading to a “drastically different outcome”. This has been demonstrated time and time again as former players have been deemed eligible for dementia-related claims by an independent neuropsychologist, but after “demographically-correcting” results by these clinicians they are ruled as not meeting the medical criteria of the settlement. Multiple clinicians have even said that “they felt that factoring for race was all but required under the program” and were attacked by the NFL for using other evaluating factors.
Peter J. Flowers and Ryan P. Theriault are continuing to represent numerous ex-players as further evidence of the use of racially biased practice continue to muddy our client’s claims. The Meyers & Flowers team will advocate for our clients until they are awarded the fair payment they deserve after dedicating years to an organization that ultimately betrayed them.
For more than two decades, Meyers & Flowers is proud to have represented thousands of victims fight back against injustices at the hands of large corporations. The trial attorneys at Meyers & Flowers are experienced, dedicated, and confident that they can help you and your family obtain the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love needs help, our team is available to walk you through your legal options. Contact our office at 877-221-2511 or request a free case evaluation online.