Just What do the Insurance Companies Know?

Aug 16, 2012

Many of you readers probably remember that Riddell (the OFFICIAL Helmet of the NFL!) saw most of their insurance companies bail on them this Spring as concussion lawsuits mounted (well over 3,000 so far). This escalated into strained relations between the NFL and Riddell as the helmet manufacturer scrambles to limit their risks and liability. And now, earlier this week, Alterra America Insurance went to court in New York to have their liability limited in covering the NFL, both with defending them in court as well as in the payout should the retired players ultimately succeed in their litigation.
Everyone knows that insurance companies run on numbers and statistics so they can make money by taking calculated risks. What have they learned recently that has them bailing like rats off a sinking ship? We suspect that as the insurance companies’ litigation moves forward, there may well be a lot of information disclosed and exposed that should affirm much of what retired players have also been asserting in their lawsuits against the NFL. BTW – It’s also interesting to note that the ESPN article seems to indicate that Alterra has only been covering the NFL for the past year (?!!). Does this mean that they just came on board after other insurers jumped ship? Inquiring minds want to know!
Here’s the story on Alterra as reported on ESPN followed by a terrific summary from our friend (and hopefully new law school grad!), Paul Anderson, over at NFL Concussion Litigation:

Insurer looks to part ways with NFL

Updated: August 14, 2012, 9:40 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com
A company that the NFL was hoping it could count on to help in its defense against concussion lawsuits is seeking to separate itself from the league.
Alterra America Insurance, which provided the NFL with an excess casualty insurance policy last season, has asked for a New York State Supreme Court judge to issue a declaratory judgment in its favor that would clear the firm from having to defend the league and pay for the damages associated with litigation that now involves more than 3,000 former players. Many of the player suits have been consolidated into a single case in a district court in Pennsylvania.
In a complaint filed on Monday, Alterra said the league had expressed it was expecting the company to be involved in both defending and covering the league should it lose in court.
Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.

NFL’s Insurer Balks at Concussion Defense

2012 August 13

by Paul Anderson ©

Updated 9-16-2012:
As first reported by NFLConcussionLitigation.com, the NFL was sued by Alterra American Insurance on Monday seeking a declaration that it does not have a duty to defend or indemnify the NFL in the ongoing concussion lawsuits. Now the plot has thickened.
The NFL has sued 32 – it is mere happenstance that the number of defendant-insurers coincides with the number of NFL teams — of its former insurers for allegedly breaching their duty to defend against the concussion lawsuits.
The NFL says it has paid “millions of dollars in premiums” and now the insurers are saying no dice.
According to the NFL, “the insurers issuing such policies have failed and refused to discharge their obligations to defend the NFL and NFL Properties in the injury lawsuits…and breached their duty to defend.”
Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Dave Pear
    August 16th, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Dave Pear

    Has the NFL ever done the right thing?

    In my humble opinion and experience – NO!

    And has anyone else noticed? Just exactly where is our so-called Union, the NFLPA, in all of this?

    Dave & Heidi Pear

  2. Gregg Bingham
    August 17th, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Greg Bingham


    MIA. Where else do you think they have been???

    Gregg Bingham
    Houston Oilers
    1973 – 1984

  3. Jim Bradshaw
    August 17th, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Jim Bradshaw

    The NFLPA does not represent former players.

    How many times do we have to be told?

    Jim Bradshaw
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1963 – 1967

  4. Rick Hayes
    August 17th, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Rick Hayes

    Aloha Husky Brother Dave:

    This is the Legal and Insurance Fraternities “Good Ol’ Boy” Network of slapping each other on their backs [WALLETS]. They compound the fundamental issue by getting as many of them paid as possible while the Insurance Companies invest their projected losses for Capital Gains to cover their ultimate liability. We have all seen a shark feeding frenzy and this case – if it ever goes to trial – will then be appealed ad nauseum until we are all well underground.

    I found myself in a similar “shark frenzy” when I was assaulted by a cowardly “Lawyer” with a .38-caliber through the neck. That case took 13 years!

    Rick Hayes
    L.A. Rams 1974
    UW Huskies 1969-1973
    UW Huskies

  5. Dina Averno
    August 22nd, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Sisto Averno

    I had contacted you several weeks ago in reference to my father, Sisto J. Averno Sr. He just passed away recently on March 26, 2012. He played from 1950 to 1955.

    In short, he was receiving a pension from the 5 years he played for $1,250 per month which my mother is not entitled to at all. (When they finally decided to give him a pension, it was $100.00 per month – so I guess not a big deal for my mother either!) There were no other benefits.

    He recently qualified for the new Legacy Benefit because he was still alive when it went into effect. So I called the Plan office for explanations because I wanted my mother to have the maximum benefit from this new Plan. I was told that he could elect 25 or 50 or 75 % of the benefit but not 100 percent. He only lived until this past March. You see, he had been in a nursing home for 4 years suffering from Parkinson’s disease from playing football. He couldn’t walk, talk or use his hands because of the disease. Now, my mother does not qualify for any benefits other than $299 per month. For this, I am grateful. But now she cannot afford anything because the income has just been cut in half.

    I have several questions: Is there another lawsuit that I have been hearing of that my mother might qualify for? She’s 82 now and I handle all her affairs for her. And are there any other benefits from his pension in the past or this Legacy Fund something that she would qualify for?

    If anyone here could help with my questions, that would be great!

    Dina Averno Daughter
    Sisto Averno
    New York Yanks, Dallas Texans,
    Baltimore Colts
    1950 – 1955