Jon Frankel Joined CMB To Talk Concussion Settlement

90% Of Claims Haven't Been Paid

Carlin, Maggie & Bart
May 25, 2018 - 3:30 pm

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By WFAN.com

HBO Real Sports correspondent Jon Frankel joined Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott on WFAN this afternoon to discuss the major issue of concussions around the NFL and how they deal with them. 90% of the claims that have been made my former players have not been paid. That's an alarming number. 

"The NFL would say there's a whole lot of fraud going on, whether it's players, lawyers, doctors, and so we're taking care to make sure that doesn't happen," Frankel told CMB on Friday. "When the settlement was announced nearly five years ago back in 2013, Chris Seeger, who was the lead attorney for the players in this case said that this was going to be fairly simple that once the players presented and filed their paperwork from board certified doctors...that the payments would start flowing, and he acknowledges that in the beginning it didn't work quite as well as they would have liked and they had to work out some of the kinks. His assessment right now is that its working well and you just cited that number, we found that not to be the case and that there are players again thought this was going to be very easy." 

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Sadly for the former players, this case is going to be far from over, and who knows when the end result of everyone getting paid will actually come.

"This is Judge Brody's legacy this case. She wants it to stay in tact as is.  I would assume she can say not enough guys are getting paid, and you need to go figure this out. There's too many alternative, too many loopholes, too many ways for the administrators of the fund to deny claims or for the NFL to appeal or to hold cases in limbo for so long, because not only can the NFL appeal a decision as they did in the case of Mark Gastineau, they can also audit a decision. The audit has no finite timeline on when that has to be resolved. Players can just sit there and wait and wait and wait forever." 

There are many layers to this case and it's going to be a while. Symptoms can still come up for former players, which would add to the long list. 

"This is a settlement thats on the books for 65 years. If he deteriorates and in 10 years something pops up, as long as he's registered to be a part of the settlement then he can then file a claim. I think there's a couple of issues with the independent board, which is that even if guys get denied, the guys we interviewed, this independent panel has never bothered to even follow up and interview these players. So they are merely looking at the paper work. Apparently, according to the settlement, they're not even allowed to question the diagnosis that these board certified doctors have presented. They are only supposed to be allowed to determine whether the doctor is a legitimate doctor. So when they are denying these claims, what the NFL's defense is they are saying no legitimate claim has been denied. They are hanging their hats on the word legitimate." 

You can listen to the entire interview above and catch the Real Sports NFL Concussion Settlement special on HBO.