A former Louisiana State University football player has filed suit against his ex-financial planner for allegedly obtaining an inadequate insurance policy meant to protect the athlete in the event of a career-ending injury during his final year of college football. Ciron Black, a standout offensive lineman who was projected as a first-round NFL draft pick, suffered such an injury against Alabama in his senior season in 2009. His claim under the policy was denied by the company. Black never played professional football.

The lawsuit against Benjamin McConley of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., filed in Baton Rouge state court, accuses McConley of breach of contract and “failing to provide competent services” as a financial planner and insurance broker. The suit alleges that McConley “actively searched out” Black, using the Internet and other contacts.

Black entered into a contract with McConley that called for McConley to provide the player with general financial planning advice and services. That would include obtaining and entering into a sports disability insurance policy to protect Black if he were to sustain a career-ending injury during his final season at LSU. The NCAA offers disability insurance to student-athletes who have professional potential to be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft, and Black was eligible for the program.

It was further alleged that these policies are “heavily policed, controlled, and monitored by the NCAA” and offered at zero percent financing of the premiums, thus providing the most reputable and financially sound source of such insurance policies. Rather than obtain this secure and reliable form of disability insurance, it’s claimed that McConley instead obtained an unmonitored and unnecessarily narrow third party disability insurance policy through Lloyd’s of London Underwriters. The complaint alleges the company subsequently denied Black’s claim after he suffered an injury that prevented him from playing football at a professional level.

A settlement was reached in a federal civil suit filed by Black in 2010 against underwriters at Lloyd’s of London for failure to honor the policy. It was alleged in the suit that the policy’s premium of $14,758 was supposed to have provided the player with $2 million in coverage. The amount of that settlement is confidential, but the amount will be disclosed in the current lawsuit. Black, a member of LSU’s 2007 national championship team, is seeking the difference between the settlement and the $2 million he claims he should have received. Bryan Fisher, a lawyer from Baton Rouge, represents the Plaintiff in the case which has been assigned to state District Judge Kay Bates.

Source: Insurance Journal

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