Judge: NFL retirees can request trial

A judge ruled that retired NFL players can sue in disability cases.

PHILADELPHIA–A lawsuit alleging the scheme The NFL’s failure to violate its duty to retired players by routinely denying legitimate claims A federal judge in Maryland ruled that most of the charges could be prosecuted for the injuries.

The case was filed last year Accuses officials overseeing the program of bad faith and gross violations of federal law. U.S. District Judge Julie R. Rubin indicated that the lawsuit could proceed against the board, but not against Commissioner Roger Goodell or the trustees individually because they were not accused of wrongdoing.

Lawyers for 10 retired players sign potential lawsuit The collective called Wednesday’s ruling “a major victory” for those who were victims of “systemic injustice.”

“We hope to continue to shed light on This betrayal by the NFLheld the plan fully accountable and Fix this broken system and make it fair players to move forward,” attorneys Chris Seager and Sam Katz said in a statement Thursday.

While the board has six members with voting rights Goodell serves as non-voting president, An NFL spokesperson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Seager is no stranger to battles with the league: He also represented players in injury cases that led to payouts of more than a billion dollars.

The NFL said it expects to receive annual payments for the disability plan Last year 330 million dollars.

The program grew out of a 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the players and the union, and was lauded as a way to help ailing former players. A successful claim could result in a payout between $65,000 and $265,000But plaintiffs’ attorneys say few retirees see the maximum amount.

Former players say they were denied benefits, even though their time in the league left them with long-term physical or cognitive injuries, making life difficult and sometimes unbearable.

The lawsuit also alleges that the doctors who examined If players deny the claims they are more likely to receive repeat referrals from the program. A neuropsychologist who received more than $800,000 examined 29 former players and refuted his claims in all cases, according to lawyers.

The judge ruled that The trial can now proceed to discovery, when both sides will exchange evidence. He said plaintiffs clearly allege that the Board ignored the stated objectives of the plan, failed to consider the entire record in evaluating claims, and failed to render a reasoned decision.

Plaintiffs include Willis McGahee, first-round pick in 2003, who spent 11 seasons in the NFL, including seven seasons with the New York Jets. McGahee said he has had more than a dozen surgeries for injuries sustained as a runner, is moody and struggles to play with his young children, but his claim was rejected.

New York Jets veteran safety Eric Smith is another contender. He said his brain injuries caused by football still cause blackouts and violent incidents.

“There were times I would pass out and wake up … and I’d be bleeding, there were holes in the wall. My wife and my kids were crying,” Smith said in a video conference call last year. ” “I took a dark path.”

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