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One billion dollars is a lot to fight over, even among wealthy football players.
That explains half the battle over a $1 billion settlement for retired players who claim concussion injuries against the National Football League. But with the NFL alleging "deep and widespread" fraud among the claimants, the contest is far from over.
The NFL says lawyers are a big part of the problem, steering players to certain doctors and coaching them how to make claims. They make it sound like a typical insurance fraud ring, without the jerseys and end-zone celebrations.
The retired players and the NFL settled two years, ending a long-fought case by more than 20,000 players who suffered cognitive and neurological problems after playing professional football. The story played out in the movie "Concussion," starring Will Smith.
So far, the settlement fund has paid out $227 million to claimants. But the NFL says it has denied more than 400 claims, and it has asked the court to appoint a special investigator to address the issue.
"Fraud threatens the integrity of the settlement and the prompt payment of legitimate claims," said NFL attorney Brad Karp. "There is significant evidence of fraudulent claims being advanced by unscrupulous doctors, lawyers and even players."
In a motion, the NFL said one law firm "coached" more than 100 players how to answer questions during doctors' exams. One neurologist submitted 21 medical reports for players showing identical vital signs for each player.
Christopher Seeger, one of the attorneys for retired players, told the Associated Press that he agreed with the appointment of a special investigator. It is one of the tools the court has to oversee claims in the case.
It's also not the first time lawyers have been accused of fraudulent claims. One of the most common types of insurance schemes involves lawyers and doctors.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.