06/10/2013 2:26PM

Chavez sues over insurance settlement

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Jockey Jorge Chavez, who has not ridden since going down in a spill on Dec. 4, 2011, at Aqueduct in New York, has filed a lawsuit against the insurance company covering riders at New York racetracks seeking a lump sum payout of nearly $1 million.

The suit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York in Nassau County on May 17, alleges that Chavez was “rendered permanently impaired and disabled” as a result of the 2011 accident, which would qualify Chavez for a payment under the policy equal to 10 times his earnings over the past 36 months, to a maximum of $957,980. The suit states that the policy issuer, AIG, has refused to distribute the sum. The policy is purchased by the New York Racing Association, which operates Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga.

Chavez, 51, broke five ribs and fractured his collarbone and two vertebrae in the accident, according to news reports at the time. Doctors told Chavez that he would need at least five months of recovery before returning to riding, according to articles, but he has not raced since then. Chavez had fractured the same two vertebrae in an earlier accident in 2003 at Gulfstream Park.

Joe Faraldo, who is representing Chavez in the suit, said that the former jockey is no longer fully “ambulatory,” and that he has trouble sitting for long periods of time. Faraldo said that the jockey is also no longer capable of riding a horse.

“The insurance company is putting in place a standard in which you’d have to be a quadriplegic to qualify for coverage,” Faraldo said. “NYRA is paying a lot of money for that coverage, but you might as well not even have a policy at all if that is the standard.”

Chavez was the leading rider on the NYRA circuit from 1994 to 1999. He won 4,526 races in his career, including the 2001 Kentucky Derby on Monarchos. After an accident in 2006, his career tapered off, and in 2011, the last year he rode, he had 302 mounts, with 23 wins.

Anthony Garcia More than 1 year ago
hes never returned to riding so i guess he really couldnt ride a horse
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
As an old insurance guy, I think the issue here is the Doctor who put himself out there, when he said it would take five months for Chavez to return to riding. Aig, is hanging their hat on that statement. I personally do not agree, and think Chavez, needs a new lawyer, who will plead his case, that he cannot physically race ride for a living any longer. The man is 51. Give us a break, and pay the man. P.S. Mr.Chavez. Please get a second, and third opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only career where an ambulance follows the participants. Why isn't the NYRA going after the trainers who are doping their horses? The poor jockeys risk their lives to ride for trainers who are running horses with 3 legs on all kinds of horrible substances. The NYRA is and always has been corrupt. The former president lost his job by taking out more than was entitled too on some of the wagering pools,screwing the bettors. Now a disabled jockey can't get what he is entitled too. Disgusting way to treat human beings.
Starr Bennett More than 1 year ago
AIG....should we even expect more? NYRA should be partners in the suit because the association has paid to play and the insurance game is rigged against it's own clients...So sorry to know the knowledge and there is another prayer for justice and compassion being offered routinely for you, Mr. Chavez, and for your family.
Bartholomew Johnson More than 1 year ago
Seems like they are Chop - Chopping the fair amount.
Jeffrey Mathews More than 1 year ago
the is being robbed!! $1mil!! he should be getting atleast $10million for his career
Bob Quinn More than 1 year ago
Good luck Jorge. You were a great rider and deserve the money you are seeking. Unfortunately the deck is stacked against you. AIG like most insurance companies are dirt along with the politicians that enact laws that screw the American people. I hope you can find a way to beat the system.
Antonio Hill More than 1 year ago
May God blessing come your way.We here at my Home will keep You and your Family in Pray. In need of a good lawyer find God.
jay More than 1 year ago
This is not the place for your religious rantings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The jockey who broke two vertebrae a second time isn't ambulatory, but his lawyer absolutely is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good luck to you Jorge Chavez you do not deserve this treatment. Jbeau