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Florida Court Partially Grants NFL Disability Plan's Motion to Dismiss Former NFL Player's Lawsuit for Total and Permanent Disability Benefits

A Florida Court granted in part the NFL Disability Plan’s (the “Plan”) motion to dismiss two counts of a former player’s lawsuit.

Mr. Tyrone Keys played in the National Football League for seven seasons as a defensive lineman. Not surprisingly, Mr. Keys has developed a number of impairing medical conditions, including, but not limited to, chronic back, shoulder, and knee pain.

Unable to work, Mr. Keys filed an application for total and permanent disability benefits. The NFL Disability Plan approved Mr. Keys’ application and awarded his benefits effective January 2004. Since the initial approval there has been regular disagreement as to which category of benefit payment Mr. Keys fell under.

In August 2017, the Plan notified Mr. Keys that his Inactive A benefits had been terminated. Instead, it found that he was eligible to receive Inactive B benefits, which are much less than Inactive A benefits. Moreover, the Plan argued that Mr. Keys provided false information and should have never received Inactive A benefits and thus had been overpaid by more than $800,000. As such, the Plan asserted it would no longer pay Mr. Keys monthly benefits until it recovered the alleged overpayment.

The Plan denied Mr. Keys’ appeal. Accordingly, he filed a lawsuit against the NFL Plan.

The Lawsuit

In his lawsuit Mr. Keys set forth three claims, or counts. The Plan filed a motion to dismiss the first and third counts of Mr. Keys’ lawsuit.

In his first count, Mr. Keys sought a declaration of rights asking the court to declare that the NFL Plan’s decision to withhold his benefit payment in order to recover the alleged overpayment was an abuse of discretion because he never provided false information. The court denied the Plan’s motion to dismiss this count finding it was a separate issue that Mr. Keys properly brought in a separate claim.

In his third count, Mr. Keys’ set forth a claim of equitable estoppel based on silence. In other words, he argued that by paying his benefits for over 13 years, the Plan should be stopped from trying to recover those benefits. The Court granted the Plan’s motion to dismiss this particular count.

Legal Representation for Former Players

This is just one example of how difficult it is for former NFL players to receive disability benefits. The Plan will do anything it can to avoid paying former player’s disability benefits. As such, players should hire legal representation to assist with:

Our NFL Disability Lawyers Can Help You

Our disability lawyers have experience assisting former NFL players get disability benefits from the Plan. Notably, our firm was successful in securing a judgment against the Plan for our client Darryl Ashmore.

At the Dabdoub Law Firm, our disability lawyers are dedicated to assisting former players in their fight for total and permanent disability benefits.Call Dabdoub Law Firm to get experienced disability lawyers on your side.