Contact sports are exciting to watch. NFL and other major league games
are the modern answer to the Roman gladiator in the arena. Owners have
made billions on talented football, hockey and soccer. players. What is
soon forgotten after the profits are tallied and the arena is quiet, however,
is the life long effect those many games have had on the player.
For the players who devote their talent and health to game, the cold reality
is the accumulated physical toll on the player can be high, even life
threatening. Thus, workplace accident claims are common, and often unavoidable.
A work injury on the field, or on the ice, can even end a sports promising
career, sometimes before it really begins. As discussed in earlier blog
posts, team owners have sought to bar California workers compensation
benefits and treatment to some players through legislation, even those with
serious brain injuries.
Now, even insurance companies are looking to avoid paying benefits to seriously
injured player. On August 13, 2012, Alterra America Insurance Company,
a NFL liability insurer, brought suit in New York State Court claiming
it did not have the ”duty to defend or indemnify” the NFL
in multiple tort suits filed by former NFL players. On August 22, 2012,
several subsidiaries of The Travelers Companies, Inc. then weighed in
with their own insurance coverage lawsuit, contending that it is not obligated
to defend or indemnify the NFL for any of the lawsuits, claiming that
Travelers does not insure the NFL— it only insures NFL Properties,
Inc., the NFL’s marketing company. Now, even the carriers want to
escape any responsibility to pay benefits to the injured players.
Whether owners or their insurance companies try to avoid their responsibilities
to their employee’s or not, let’s hope the California legislature
and courts remember that the California State Constitution requires ALL
workers be provided workers compensation benefits and treatment when they
are injured on the job – or field.
Whether you are a famous athlete or not, an experienced work injury attorney
can assist you in navigating the ever more complex workers compensation
system. If you, or someone you care about, has suffered a work injury, please
contact the office of Thomas F. Martin PLC immediately by completing a free Case Evaluation form, or by calling (714)