Former Player Suing NFL Over Disability Payments

eric shelton carolina panthers nfl

Photo: Flickr/noahwood

Former NFL running back Eric Shelton is suing the league for withholding benefits that he believes he deserves under the league’s disability plan.Shelton was injured during an intrasquad scrimmage in 2008 on a helmet-to-helmet collision that caused him to lose feeling in his extremities for one minute and feel numb from the waist down the next day.

Shelton never played again and still has transient numbness, migraines, and other pain.

The point of contention is that the league pays different amounts to players who suffer “degenerative” conditions that appear from six-to-12 months after the initial injury, and those that are immediately and permanently unable to work.

Shelton worked at a Walgreen’s pharmacy soon after he retired, but claims that because of his injury he quickly discovered that he was unfit for the job and unable to work. He believes this should qualify him for the permanent injury payment amount of $220,000, more than double the short-term injury sum. 

The league disputes the claim, saying that the fact that he worked at Walgreen’s proves the injury was not immediately debilitating.

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