A former NFL player who suffered what the league deemed a career-ending concussion has sued Lloyd’s of London for denying a $1 million insurance policy for professional athletes. The lawsuit filed this week in North Carolina could become a test case for insurers dealing with the emerging fallout from sports concussions and head trauma claims. The NFL declared former Carolina Panthers defensive back Haruki Nakamura fully and permanently disabled after the August 2013 concussion he received in a preseason game, and it awarded him monthly benefits.
Lloyd’s medical expert nonetheless ruled, nearly 18 months after the claim was filed, that he could return to play. However, their doctor cautioned Nakamura to consider the “probable long-term effects of repetitive concussions” before making the decision, according to the suit, filed Monday in Mecklenburg County. Nakamura, 30, said he suffers from headaches, vision problems, fatigue, depression and suicidal thoughts.