Former NFL players are suing the league over denied disability benefits

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A group of former National Football League players is suing the organization, alleging that it has a pattern of denying disability benefits for those with both physical injuries and mental impairments, despite evidence from medical and team records.

The plaintiffs include Jason Alford, Daniel Loper, Willis McGahee, Michael McKenzie, Jamize Olawale, Alex Parsons, Eric Smith, Charles Sims, Joey Thomas and Lance Zeno.

Several of them had their applications for benefits denied on multiple occasions, marred by conflicting reports from doctors with denial rates often exceeding more than 90%, the lawsuit says.

The complaint suggests the doctors who analyzed the plaintiffs were highly paid by the league, and therefore purposefully minimized the former players’ complaints in reports so the league was justified in denying their applications to avoid payouts. Conversely, doctors who made less were more likely to accurately detect disabilities, the lawsuit says.

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