However, as reported by ESPN’s Outside the Lines and PBS’s Frontline Program, the league retirement board agreed to pay more than $2 million in disability benefits to three former players three years ago. In fact, the reporters allegedly obtained legal documents as well as medical records from the disability claim filed by one of the plaintiffs, Mike Webster, way back in 1999.
Apparently, the former players were paid after the league determined that football had left the players with life-devastating brain injury. However, it is pretty opposite to the league’s current stance towards the concussion lawsuits that it now faces.
This is indeed huge news that could significantly affect the ongoing litigations filed by the current and former football players against the league.
In fact, according to Webster’s lawyer, said report could serve as a strong evidence for the current plaintiffs’ claims that the NFL asked to be dismissed. In addition, the league seems to be totally blindsided by the recent revelation. In fact, it even denied the fact that the NFL or its association was the one behind that decision granting the former players with disability benefits.
On the other hand, proving the credibility of its report, the Outside the Lines and Frontlines show affirmed that based on the documents that they gathered, the NFL turned over a list of 11 players who had filed disability benefit claims. Subsequently, the league rejected nine claims but approved two.
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles permanent disability lawyer, who closely monitors the progress of this current class action lawsuit against the league, speculated that this case is still likely to progress following this surprising revelation.