After N.F.L. Concussion Settlement, Feeding Frenzy of Lawyers and Lenders

While some of the firms may provide valuable assistance in complicated cases, others appear to be pitching services to ex-players who don’t need their help.

The cottage industry of companies and law firms, going by names such as N.F.L. Case Consulting, Concussion Case Management and Legacy Pro Sports and looking to help people file settlement claims, is largely unregulated, even if their pitches are for services that are usually unnecessary. And with the deadline to register for the settlement less than a month away, their pitches have become more aggressive.

The rush to recruit players prompted the federal judge overseeing the legal settlement case to issue an order in April saying that N.F.L. Players Brains Matter, a company led by Fred Willis, a former running back, would no longer distribute “improper communications” to other players.

In an interview, Mr. Willis said he was a longtime advocate for players and accepted no money for helping them.

“I’m not being paid, and I don’t need the money,” said Mr. Willis, who played for the Bengals, the Oilers and the Broncos. “This is not going to stop me from helping my brothers, and they know where I am coming from.”

Photo

Carter during his days with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the U.S.F.L. He says he is offended by retired players doing the bidding of lawyers.

Credit
Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

The judge, Anita B. Brody, also approved a notice that warned players about companies that, according to Mr. Seeger, offer to help players “navigate what are falsely portrayed as complicated registration, medical testing and claims procedures.”

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…

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