The National Football League's System for Compensating Retired Players: An Uneven Playing Field?
On Tuesday, June 26, 2007, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP partner Cy Smith testified at a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law hearing about how the National Football League's (NFL) pension plans pay benefits to retired players who have been disabled playing professionally. Mr. Smith won the first-ever lawsuit against the pension plans for the estate of ex-Steelers great Mike Webster, who suffered brain damage as a result of multiple concussions. The victory in that case paved the way for public, media, and now legislative scrutiny of the NFL's pension plans and often insufficient disability benefits. The Webster case has also resulted in increased public and medical attention on the recurring problem of concussions in professional football and other sports.