Jimmie Giles Sues NFL Retirement Plan

Feb 4, 2011

NY Daily News: Jimmie Giles

Attorney John Hogan has been representing retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer Jimmie Giles to have his status changed from inactive Total & Permanent (T&P) Disability to more evident Football Degenerative T & P Disability. As with Dave’s case, Jimmie had already qualified for and was receiving Social Security Disability (also difficult to qualify for but nonetheless fair and rules-based). According to an earlier amendment to the Plan, Jimmie’s SS Disability qualified him at the very least for a new re-evaluation and reclassification with little fanfare. You can read Jimmie’s story in an earlier New York Daily News story from Wayne Coffey by clicking HERE.

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Jimmie was limited to sedentary work by a MAP in 1996. When SSA found him disabled as of 2004, it was because he was limited to sedentary work – and under SSA rules, when you’re 50 or older, cannot do your past work, and it does not provide transferrable skills to sedentary – you are disabled. The Plan is either unwilling or unable to connect the dots.

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Also, Jimmie was medically obese when he played – as are over half of today’s players (!); and in three separate Plan exams, his height and weight were never taken. It is not part of the standard Plan exam protocol – so they were just looking for a way to deny him.

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Jimmie initially refused to go to the exam because they didn’t say why they needed it. (They are not supposed to act arbitrarily under ERISA law, nor are they supposed to get another opinion “just because they want to” – without good cause. Also, at that time, Jimmie was basing his refusal on the NFLPA White Paper – which the Groom Law Group wrote – that plainly stated if a player won SSD, they would NOT have to go to a neutral physician. They then had the Medical Director review the file and he said Jimmie was totally disabled due to football …but due in part to obesity. They then denied his case. So AFTER that, they amended the Plan to specifically state that even where a guy won SS, they could still order an exam where it was needed to make an adequate determination!

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When he finally did go see a neutral physician, the only relevant issue SHOULD HAVE BEEN whether his condition was football-related – but instead, they just sent the doctor the standard forms.

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Jimmie’s suit was just made available in public court records and we’ve uploaded it to Scribd for easier viewing and to make it downloadable. You can click on the FULL SCREEN button to enlarge it for easier navigation (hit the ESC key to close). You can also click the DOWNLOAD button to save a PDF copy for printing and reading later:
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Jimmie Giles Complaint Against NFL Retirement Plan
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Jimmie Giles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Houston Oilers
1977 – 1989

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3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Dave Pear
    February 4th, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    John,

    Could this turn into another class action action lawsuit?

    The NFLPA leadership has already been convicted in federal court of Breach of Fiduciary Duty AND Breach of Contract in the John Madden video game scandal with EA sports.

    Thanks, Jimmie, for your courage in standing up for justice!

    Stay after these scoundrels, John! Thank you

    Regards,
    Dave & Heidi Pear

  2. RobertinSeattle
    February 4th, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    RobertinSeattle

    Great work, Jimmie and John!

    And more coverage as Super Bowl Sunday comes up – this article just came in from Stacy Brownhill of the Willamette Week out of Portland Oregon (be sure to read some of the comments!) – click HERE to read.

  3. Tweets that mention Jimmie Giles Sues NFL Retirement Plan - Dave Pear's Blog -- Topsy.com
    February 5th, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

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