Former NBA player Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is suing an insurance company for $40 million for allegedly denying coverage for his COVID-19-related heart disease. The 2012 second overall pick has been diagnosed with myocarditis, a condition that causes inflammation of the heart muscle, and has not played in the NBA since 2020.
Kidd-Gilchrist’s career cut short by COVID-19 complications
Kidd-Gilchrist, who played for the Charlotte Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks, was advised not to play basketball after he experienced acute chest pain in December 2020. He says he felt symptoms of his heart disease as recently as June 2021. He was just 26 when he last appeared in the NBA.
According to his attorney, Jason Morrin, Kidd-Gilchrist made a claim to Lloyd’s of London “for coverage under the policy due to permanent total disablement arising from a sickness.” Morrin says the policy provided coverage if Kidd-Gilchrist was unable to continue “his occupation as a professional basketball player.”
However, the suit says that the company “refused to fully insure the damage caused by the loss for which plaintiff sought coverage.” Kidd-Gilchrist is suing the company for $40 million, which is the amount of the policy limit.
Lloyd’s of London faces criticism over denial of coverage
Lloyd’s of London is a British insurance market that operates through a network of brokers and underwriters. The company has faced criticism over its denial of coverage for COVID-19-related claims from various industries, such as entertainment, hospitality, and sports.
New York Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh chimed in on the lawsuit, explaining why he never worked with the company. “The reason I never used Lloyd’s of London is because you will most likely have to fight this case overseas. Multiple insurers took pieces of this. Logistical nightmare. This is why it’s important to get a policy with a US domiciled company,” Pugh posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Morrin said that Kidd-Gilchrist paid “an annual premium on the policy averaging $66,125,” and the policy was in effect from Sept. 14, 2019 to Sept. 14, 2021. He also said that Kidd-Gilchrist has not received any compensation from the NBA or any other source for his disability.
Kidd-Gilchrist’s achievements and challenges in the NBA
Kidd-Gilchrist was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets (then known as the Bobcats) after winning a national championship with Kentucky in 2012. He was considered one of the best defensive players in his draft class, and he averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his career.
However, he also faced several challenges and setbacks in his NBA journey. He suffered a concussion in his rookie season, and he missed most of the 2015-16 season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He also struggled with his shooting mechanics and confidence, and he was often relegated to a bench role.
He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2019-20 season, where he played only nine games before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the season. He did not join the Mavericks in the Orlando bubble for the restart of the season, and he has not signed with any team since then.
Kidd-Gilchrist’s lawsuit is one of the many examples of how COVID-19 has impacted the lives and careers of athletes around the world. The former NBA star is seeking justice and compensation for his loss of livelihood and health.