NFL sued over disability payments

Nov. 30, 2010 at 1:57 PM
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BALTIMORE, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A former Washington Redskins running back is suing the National Football League, saying he is being shortchanged on his disability payments.

Eric Shelton, 27, whose three-year career ended after a helmet-to-helmet hit in a training camp scrimmage, is seeking more than $18,000 a month, the highest disability payment allowed under the league's current collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

The retirement board of the NFL pension plan determined that Shelton's disabilities manifested themselves "six months to a year" after the injury and that he was eligible only for what is called a degenerative disability payment, about half of what Shelton is seeking, the newspaper said.

An attorney representing Shelton says he should receive the active disability payment because he was injured while playing for the Redskins.

"The NFL wants a good public image but isn't willing to pay people who have terrible, career-ending, really serious injuries like occurred to Eric Shelton," Baltimore attorney Cy Smith says.

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