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Ex-Bears QB Kyle Orton Sues Chicago Law Firm Over Investment Advice

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on December 30, 2011 3:29 PM

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton is suing a law firm, claiming the firm misled him into making investments that cost him and other NFL players millions of dollars.

And it wasn't because of a bear market, either. Kyle Orton's suit alleges lawyers at the Chicago firm Chuhak & Tecson fumbled by creating tax shelters that failed to meet legal requirements, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The firm assured the new Kansas City Chiefs signal caller that he'd get big returns, but never told Orton its tax shelters weren't legit, Kyle Orton's suit asserts. As a result, Orton suffered millions in losses, according to the Tribune.

Other NFL players also lost money in the deal, Orton's attorney told the Associated Press.

"I think this says a lot about the vulnerabilities of NFL players -- that they rely on the expertise of others," Orton's attorney said, though he declined to identify the other players. "They relied on people who were supposed to have their best interests in mind."

Kyle Orton's suit against the law firm seeks more than $800,000 in damages -- $200,000 for each of four counts of misrepresentation and negligence, the Tribune reports.

Generally speaking, misrepresentation is an intentionally false representation made through conduct or by concealment, for the purpose of fraud. To win on this claim, Orton will likely have to prove the firm intended to defraud him through its investment advice.

Negligence accuses a party of breaching a duty to the victim, which then causes harm to the victim. In Orton's case, he's likely claiming that Chuhak & Tecson's lawyers breached a duty by allegedly lying to their clients.

Chuhak & Tecson's president declined to comment. But the firm could try to defend itself in part by claiming it did not intend to defraud its clients.

Orton, who's also played for the Denver Broncos and is now leading the Chiefs' offense, was trying to make money on potentially lucrative oil and gas energy partnerships, the Tribune reports. He and other NFL players invested money over a five-year period before learning they'd been misled in 2010, Kyle Orton's lawsuit states.

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