Former USC football player files lawsuit against university

Daily Trojan file photo

Daily Trojan file photo

Former USC linebacker Morgan Breslin is suing his alma mater for breach of contract, negligence and fraud by intentional misrepresentation, alleging that school representatives misguided him into purchasing a disability insurance policy that he was later unable to claim following an injury that would eventually end his career.

Breslin, who played for the Trojans in 2012 and 2013, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 28. He is seeking unspecified damages.

The suit claims that Breslin, 24, purchased “a total and permanent disability insurance policy that, in theory, protected him in the event he was unable to play in the NFL due to an injury sustained while playing for USC.” Breslin ultimately purchased the policy from Amtrust at Lloyd’s, part of Amtrust, a multinational property and casualty insurance company, “based upon the advice and representations of USC.”

The claim states that “USC directed Breslin in every step related to the policy” and purportedly breached its contract with Breslin by “failing to manage plaintiff Breslin’s relationship with Amtrust on Breslin’s behalf.”

After “Breslin was unable to play football and was rendered totally and permanently disabled as defined by the policy,” he made a claim under the policy in May of 2014 that was denied in December of the same year, according to the suit.

Following the denial, Amtrust filed a separate lawsuit in the state of New Jersey seeking to have Breslin’s policy “declared void,” citing “that the application, which Breslin completed with USC’s assistance, and the medical information that USC provided directly to the underwriter, contained material omission and misstatements.”

Prior to the 2013-2014 season, Breslin was designated as an Exceptional Student-Athlete by the NCAA, a program that offers incentives to student-athletes to stay in school, complete their degrees and play another year by giving student-athletes the opportunity to purchase disability insurance.

The suit reads that Breslin and USC had reached a contractual agreement wherein USC promised to “manage Plaintiff Breslin’s relationship with Amtrust on Breslin’s behalf” in return for Breslin’s promise to “forgo the NFL draft and remain at USC and play football.”

Under this same contract, USC purportedly agreed to “pay for all medical costs incurred by Breslin” while at USC. According to the lawsuit, USC’s breach of this aforementioned contract is the primary reason for Breslin’s decision to seek unspecified damages.

The suit also alleges that USC interfered with Breslin’s right to receive benefits from the insurance by controlling the flow of information between him and Amtrust.

Breslin, who recorded 13 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 2012, sustained a hip injury that took place in a 62-41 loss to Arizona State in September 2013 — the same game that ended up resulting in the dismissal of head coach Lane Kiffin on the tarmac of Los Angeles International Airport.

A couple weeks after his injury, Ed Orgeron, who was the interim head coach at the time, went on to say that Breslin was one of his favorite players to coach during the course his career.

After Breslin went undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft, he had a brief stint with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent, but did not make the team’s roster.

Breslin and attorneys were unavailable for comment regarding the suit. The University said it does not comment on pending litigation.