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Thread: Workers Comp and the NFL

  1. #1
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    Workers Comp and the NFL

    With all the stuff about concussions, it will be interesting to see if cases like this start to impact things.

    Court: Ex-NFL punter eligible for workers comp

    Publication Date 08/22/2012
    Source: Associated Press


    Court: Ex-NFL punter eligible for workers comp
    By BRIAN WITTE
    Associated Press
    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Longtime-NFL punter Tom Tupa is eligible for workers compensation for a career-ending back injury he suffered while warming up for a preseason game in 2005 at FedEx Field while playing for the Washington Redskins, Maryland's highest court ruled on Wednesday. The court rejected the idea that football injuries should not be considered accidental because of the rough nature of the sport.

    Tupa's injury happened "out of and in the course of (his) employment," the Maryland Court of Appeals said in its 16-page opinion.

    "He was warming up for a game when he landed awkwardly and thereafter sought immediate medical treatment," Judge John Eldridge wrote in the opinion. "Ample evidence was presented to show that Tupa suffered a compensable accidental injury during the course of his employment."

    The team and insurers argued that Tupa's injury was not an accidental personal injury within the meaning of Maryland's workers' compensation law.

    The court rejected that argument.

    "I don't think that clubs are now able to argue that, since football is a hazardous employment, players don't get workers' compensation benefits," said Benjamin Boscolo, Tuba's attorney.

    The 46-year-old Tupa played 18 seasons in the NFL for seven teams from 1988 to 2005. He played no games for the Redskins after the 2005 injury, which happened in Landover, Md.

    The team and insurers argued that the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission did not have jurisdiction over Tupa's claim, because he was contractually bound to bring it in Virginia, where the Redskins are headquartered. The court, however, cited case law that found Maryland's workers' compensation law can apply to an employee's claim, despite language in a contract saying otherwise.

    An NFL spokesman says the league hasn't seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment. A portion of the collective bargaining agreement does deal specifically with the filing of worker's compensation claims.

  2. #2
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    I've had in depth conversation with an underwriter who's fearing the losses they are going to take for these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sexi Rexi View Post
    I've had in depth conversation with an underwriter who's fearing the losses they are going to take for these.
    As an insurance professional (not in WC), this type of loss would be a nightmare to deal with.

    While there are instances where "pure age" or talent loss ends a player's career, most players seem to go out the door only when a injury or injuries take their toll. Thus, the frequency of loss would seem to be very high.

    Plus, if you have to pay lifetime lost wages for a knee injury to a QB (which I believe is what happened in the Doug Williams case) or have to pay for lots of follow up surgeries (ex. Knee Replacements), the severity would seem to be very high.

    In our business, high frequency and high severity is a very bad thing.

  4. #4
    I would think that the liability would only be for the remainder of the player career., and not his entire working life. If your a RB that got a bad knee your 4th year and the average career length of a RB after being in the league 4 years
    is three more, i think that would be considered the extent of liablity no? Then all that would be left would be the same comp as if it was a car accident with permanent partial disability.

    I got no problem with this owners are making buckets of money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patman View Post
    I would think that the liability would only be for the remainder of the player career., and not his entire working life. If your a RB that got a bad knee your 4th year and the average career length of a RB after being in the league 4 years
    is three more, i think that would be considered the extent of liablity no? Then all that would be left would be the same comp as if it was a car accident with permanent partial disability.

    I got no problem with this owners are making buckets of money.
    You would think so.

    In the Doug Williams case, he got $1m even though he was essentially done with his career.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=4946,4663509

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sexi Rexi View Post
    I've had in depth conversation with an underwriter who's fearing the losses they are going to take for these.
    facinating.... who is big in NFL workers comp?

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    Quote Originally Posted by batman10023 View Post
    facinating.... who is big in NFL workers comp?
    Typically, each state has its own WC rules and pricing. Thus, I would assume each team has its own policy. Could be lots of different carriers.

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