Defenseman Aaron Rome hasn’t played in the NHL since 2014 due to injury and he’s reportedly sued the NHL and his insurance company for compensation because of it.
The Dallas Morning News reported Rome, 32, made a claim for disability payments after suffering a career-ending left hip injury in a 2014 game at American Airlines Center. Rome was playing for the Stars when the injury occurred.
The claim was denied by HCC Life Insurance Co. But, according to the Morning News, Rome alleges the insurance adjuster handling his claim was not licensed in Texas and withheld documents he needed to appeal the claim.
The Stars bought Rome out that off-season as he was entering the final year of a three-year contract.
The Morning News notes it’s not clear how much money Rome is seeking or if he’s eligible for disability benefits for his “career ending” hip injury.
It’s worth mentioning injured players are not allowed to be bought out of their contracts under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Rome then attended Detroit Red Wings training camp and appeared in pre-season action before signing a professional tryout agreement with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. He played two games for Norfolk in October 2014.
The CBA states career-ending disability benefits are one-time payments. Players under the age of 31 when the injury occurs are due to receive $1 million (U.S.). However, according to section 23.3(e) of the CBA, “disability shall be considered career ending if the Player is continuously disabled for a period of 12 months and permanently prevented from playing professional hockey.”
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Rome states the defendants have “mistreated an athlete who gave his heart and effort to professional hockey only to be betrayed by those who were supposed to help, protect, and provide benefits he undoubtedly deserves.”
Rome had six goals, 28 points and 185 penalty minutes over his 226-game NHL career. He suited up in 19 playoff contests and received a four-game suspension as a member of the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011 Stanley Cup final for a hit on Boston Bruins right winger Nathan Horton.