(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from a piece written by attorney Richard C. Giller for the November issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To see the rest of the story, please subscribe to CLR at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
By Richard C. Giller, Esq.
Last month, former NFL offensive lineman Darryl Ashmore filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District Florida against the NFL Player Disability and Neurocognitive Benefit Plan, claiming that the Plan wrongfully denied him benefits solely because he had not traveled to San Antonio, Texas, and to Tampa and Palm Beach Florida over a six day period for medical examination, despite debilitating injuries suffered over the course of his 11-year NFL career.
According to his complaint, Ashmore suffers from “multiple cognitive and mental health conditions” including “encephalopathy, dementia, memory loss, depression, anxiety, and impaired concentration” and it is further alleged that Ashmore’s counsel provided the NFL with a doctor’s letter establishing that Ashmore’s “medical conditions prevent[ed] him from flying and recommended that any examination be conducted by a physician located in Florida.”
The Ashmore case was assigned to Judge Kenneth A. Marra, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002 which, coincidentally, was the same year that Ashmore retired from the NFL. The complaint did not include any exhibits and the Plan has not yet filed an answer in the lawsuit. While the dispute over whether the NFL acted reasonably in scheduling Ashmore’s doctor’s appointments in three different locations and denying Ashmore’s claim for neurocognitive benefits may well resolve itself rather quickly, but the medical issues noted in the complaint highlight …