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The suicide of Dave Duerson has been tragic in so many ways. The former Chicago Bears defensive back believed that he was suffering from a degenerative brain disease known to have caused depression and dementia in others. He committed suicide last week in his Miami home and requested that his brain be tested after his death. The former NFL star also had a pending personal bankruptcy case.

According to court records, the personal bankruptcy was filed in September with the U.S. Bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Florida. Duerson’s attorney said he was shocked to hear about his client’s suicide, especially since Duerson seemed “extremely upbeat” about his bankruptcy case.

The September filing lists Duerson’s assets at $34.6 million and his liabilities at $14.7 million. Although his assets were double the amount of his liabilities, his assets included a $34 million judgment owed to the former Super Bowl champ. However, Duerson had yet to receive payment from the 2004 judgment. Duerson’s ex-wife was also entitled to 30 percent of $34 million judgment.

In December, Duerson’s ex-wife claimed that the former NFL player was attempting to hide some of his assets including two Super Bowl rings and a trophy he won in 1987 for being honored as Walter Payton Man of the Year. Although the filed adversary proceeding did slow the bankruptcy case down, Duerson and his ex were settling the dispute. Duerson explained that the items were not listed as assets in the bankruptcy because the items were listed as assets under the Dave Duerson Foundation. The rings and trophy are supposed to be used for display in a sports hall of fame.

Sources

Chicago Tribune: “Bears’ Duerson had pending personal bankruptcy,” Becky Yerak, 21 Feb. 2011