NFL Players Prevail in Workers’ Comp Dispute

It’s safe to say that being a professional football player in the National Football League isn’t exactly an injury-free way to make a living. And, a serious injury can quickly put an end to what was once a very profitable career. It’s understandable then, that being justly compensated for on-the-job injuries is an issue of importance for NFL players.

Not surprisingly, there have been disagreements over the years between the NFL and the players regarding workers’s compensation issues. One point of contention has been whether players are obligated to reimburse the teams for workers’ compensation benefits received.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge, Paul A. Crotty, resolved this long standing issue, as explained in this blog post from AdvisorOne:

Judge Paul A. Crotty ruled that teams could only collect an offset, or reimbursement, based on a formula that calculated the time period during which players received salary and workers’ compensation benefits concurrently. Teams had been pushing to collect dollar-for-dollar reimbursements the entire sum of comp benefits provided to a player, but the judge wasn’t having any of it.

The decision was based on he judge’s interpretation of paragraph of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement that had for decades been a issue that was hotly disputed by teams and their injured players.

This decision is a favorable one for the players and is well deserved, given the dangers inherent to their career choice. The judge’s ruling correctly removes the burden of paying for all of the workers’ compensation benefits from the shoulders of the players and places it where it rightly belongs: on the teams that employ and profit from the players’ performance on the job.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 600-0000 and howard@ankinlaw.com.