Former Buc Brad Culpepper talks about NFL worker’s comp lawsuit
(ABC Action News) TAMPA, Fla. – He played nine years on defense in the NFL, but now former Buc Brad Culpepper is defending himself against an NFL workers comp lawsuit and allegations of fraud.
It’s a new development to a story ABC Action News first broke in September.
Originally, Culpepper told us he wanted to talk about the lawsuit, but couldn’t on the advice of his attorney.
He recently agreed to do an interview with ABC News, in which he did more than just talk with Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.
“Do I have injuries from the NFL? One-hundred-thousand percent,” said Brad Culpepper, as be began ripping off his shirt during the interview.
He pointed out injuries to his bicep, clavicle and knee that he said are permanent, painful and disabling.
Culpepper, who lives in a multi-million dollar mansion beside Derek Jeter, is also a well-known Tampa personal injury attorney and a recent cast member on the CBS reality show “Survivor.”
He has been sued in California for fraud and deceit in connection with a worker’s comp claim.
According to the lawsuit filed by the insurance company obtained by the I-Team, Culpepper was declared 89 percent disabled in 2010. He settled his claim in 2011 for $175,000.
Culpepper said the claim was legitimate.
“If that’s what the doctors and that’s what my lawyers say, then yes,” he said, when asked if he was 89 percent disabled.
But the complaint alleges Culpepper was far from disabled, participating in mixed martial arts with his wife, Monica, and competing with her on “Survivor,” engaging in physically demanding tasks.
When shown clips from the show, Culpepper said he completed the tasks of his show despite a high level of pain because of his competitive nature.
“I never said I couldn’t do things,” he said. “I’m sure the Tramadol helped, and I’m sure the operation I had before I went out there helped as well.”
“I 100 percent wish I’d never asked him to be on the show, for all that he’s going through right now and being this insurance company’s target,” said Brad’s wife, Monica Culpepper, who competed in two seasons of “Survivor.”
The I-Team has learned that there have been a total of 235 workers comp claims filed in California by current or former Tampa Bay Bucs.
So far, Culpepper has been the only team member sued for fraud.
The ABC News report showing the Culpepper interview will be shown on Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline on Thursday.
If you have a story you would like the I-Team to investigate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.