Ex-NFL player Charles Dimry sues over denied disability benefits
Dimry, a former fifth-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 1988 out of UNLV, is suing the NFL’s retirement plan for denying him disability benefits he tried to claim.
Dimry played 12 seasons in the league as a cornerback and says he suffered two major neck injuries while playing, according to a filing of his suit posted by Deadspin. Dimry says the neck injuries occurred when he was hit from the side while making a tackle in 1997, and again on a similar play two years later, his last in the league. He had a neck fusion surgery in 2000.
The former cornerback applied in 2008 for line-of-duty disabilities and was approved. However, he says his pain grew much worse, preventing him from working at Velocity Sports Performance training facilities in San Diego. He then applied for Total and Permanent benefits in 2011. The T&P benefits are for former players “substantially prevented from or substantially unable to engage in any occupation or employment for remuneration or profit.” His application and his appeal were denied.
In 2014, Dimry tried to apply for the Total and Permanent benefits again. He was denied as was his appeal. The kicker here is that Dimry had reports from at least a half-dozen doctors supporting his case. One issue is that he was asked to see a retirement plan physician described for a “neutral physical medical examination.” This physician found that Dimry was able to do desk or sedentary work.
Not only is Dimry suing the Bert Bell and Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan and the NFL Supplemental Disability Plan for being denied T&P disability, but also for denying him documents he requested.