Renaker Hasselman Scott, together with co-counsel Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of three former NFL players — Lance Brown, Amon Gordon, and Charles Grant — to protect former players’ disability benefits against drastic reductions provided for by the 2020 NFL collective bargaining agreement. As of January 1, 2015, certain disability benefits were transferred from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, which does not allow benefit reductions, to the NFL Player Disability and Neurocognitive Benefit Plan, which does allow benefit reductions. The plaintiffs allege that at the time of the transfer, they had already vested in the right to receive disability benefits from the Retirement Plan, and the transfer violated these contractually vested rights. The plaintiffs seek to represent a class of similarly situated players who vested under the Retirement Plan before January 1, 2015, but whose disability benefits are being paid or may be paid in the future from the Disability Plan.
The 2020 collective bargaining agreement calls for amending the Disability Plan to institute a reduction of players’ total and permanent disability benefit amounts by the amount of Social Security disability insurance benefits they receive, beginning January 1, 2021, and eliminate eligibility determinations based on Social Security disability eligibility, effective April 1, 2024, among other changes.
Read the complaint here.