Following the biggest settlement in sports history, on behalf of National Football League players who were not given enough warning of the dangers of concussions and brain injury, a small army of legal, financial, claims-filing, and medical advisers are working hard to pitch retired players on their services. But “the fact that many players are cognitively impaired and may struggle to understand the terms of the services offered to them has raised alarm among player advocates, legal ethicists and the lawyers for the players who sued the N.F.L.” [Ken Belson, New York Times]
Most of the claim-service providers require players to agree to share 15 percent or more of anything they receive in return for helping them with a process that the providers portray, in stark terms, as unduly complicated. They also do not always tell players that they can call court-appointed experts to receive free advice on how to file a claim, or that they can visit doctors who will provide a free neurological exam.
Some lawyers have hosted dinners for former players at steakhouses to get them to sign up. Others have promised to get players appointments with doctors who will write diagnoses that make their medical conditions look worse than they are, according to players who have received pitches from some of the companies.
Side note: Ira Stoll has a comment about the Times’s use of the phrase “largely unregulated.”