A former Louisiana State University football player is suing 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, and his claim under the policy was denied.
Black never played professional football.
According to the Advocate, Black’s lawsuit against Benjamin McConley of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which was 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 claims McConley “actively searched out” Black, using the Internet and other contacts.
“He did hook Ciron. Ben solicited Ciron on Facebook,” Black’s attorney, Bryan Fisher, said Thursday. “He took advantage of a really nice but naive family.”
Attempts to reach McConley for comment at several telephone numbers were unsuccessful.
Black entered into a contract with McConley that called for McConley to provide Black with general financial planning advice and services, including 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 suit states.
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, the suit says.
Those 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,” the suit adds.
“Rather than obtain this secure and reliable form of disability insurance, (McConley) instead obtained an unmonitored and unnecessarily narrow third party disability insurance policy through Lloyd’s of London Underwriters, who subsequently denied (Black’s) claim after he suffered an injury that prevented him from playing football at a professional level,” the suit alleges.
Fisher called the policy “inferior” and said it was financed at a “substantial interest rate.”
A federal civil suit that Black filed in 2010 against underwriters at Lloyd’s of London for alleged failure to honor the policy said the policy’s premium of $14,758 was supposed to have provided Black with $2 million.
Fisher said the federal suit was resolved but he could not disclose the details at this time.
“The amount of the settlement will come out in this lawsuit,” he said.
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, Fisher said.
The suit has been assigned to state District Judge Kay Bates.