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Former NHL defenseman suing financial advisors for negligence

13 novembre 2019
Former NHL defenseman Jason Garrison is suing his financial advisors, alleging they sold unsuitable investments and insurance policies that amounted to more than his net income from his six-year contract, it is also being claimed they gave him intentionally poor financial advise.

Garrison, who is currently playing in the Swedish Hockey League for the Djurgårdens IF, has suited up for the Panthers, Canucks, Lightning, Golden Knights, and Oilers in his NHL career. Back in 2013, Garrison was 28 years old and had just signed a six-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks, to the tune of nearly $28 million dollars (US.)

That same year, the young defenseman hired Richard Jones from RJ Financial Group, a Vancouver-based insurance and wealth management firm. It was known for high-end clients such as professional athletes and doctors.

According to a statement of claim filed last month, Garrison was looking for Jones to help manage his money, as he had little experience with financial planning and investing at the time. It was expected of Jones to manage his money and assets long term with minimal risk, as Garrison intended to live off his savings over the long term.

The court documents allege, however, that Jones sold Garrison several large insurance policies, including three life insurances policies worth over $10 million each. The notice of civil claim maintains that Jones told Garrison his recommendations would result in almost $4 million dollars in capital after a decade.

The lawsuit alleges otherwise, stating Jones over sold investments, causing Garrison to lose money. It also notes that Jones and his company did not warn Garrison regarding the risks associated with said investments. Furthermore, the lawsuit indicates that Jones did not create a financial plan for the NHLer, nor did he properly identify the insurance needs of his former client.

Jones is also accused in the lawsuit of completing documents using copies of Garrison's signature without his permission, and recommending investments that were in a conflict of interest. There are also claims of selling Garrison insurance policies in which he would contribute for 10 years or more.

The lawsuit claims that because of these actions, Jones, his company and five other companies have breached contracts and were negligent in their dealings with the former NHL defenseman.

The lawsuit states; "The dominant purpose for which the defendants sold the policies and the leverage loans to the plaintiff was to earn profit, premium, commission and other compensation without regard to what was suitable for the plaintiff or the plaintiff's best interest."

At this time, a response to the civil claim has not yet been filed in court.

Jones said he was "shocked" when notified about the lawsuit.

He was quoted as saying "I took my relationship as an advisor to Jason very seriously. And his plans have performed very well over these past [eight] years or so. There were very specific and valuable reason for Jason [to] have investments in these particular insurance products."

Through the currently pending lawsuit, Garrison is seeking unspecified damages, including reimbursement of interest and charges paid on leveraged loans.

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