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Do Pro Athletes Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

Written by on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 4:17pm

With the Olympics just finishing up and the Browns season beginning, sports seem to be on many peoples’ minds and coincidentally, an Ex-NFL punter, Tom Tupa of the Washington Redskins is making news for his workers compensation claim against said team for an injury that took place back during the team’s 2005 pre-season.

According to Yahoo News, “The 46-year-old Tupa played 18 seasons in the NFL for seven teams from 1988 to 2005. He never played again after the injury, which happened in Landover, Md.”

Tupa’s attorney, Benjamin Boscolo, believes that in cases like these, where athletes get injured during a game, the treatment of that athlete should be no different than the treatment of an employee who gets injured on the job, saying, ”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,”

Judge John Eldridge concluded that, ”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.” (Yahoo News)

Claims like these are not uncommon but are different depending on the jurisdiction in which the injured athlete belongs to.  Some states let professional athletes file medical malpractice lawsuits, while others only allow an award out of a state’s Workers’ Compensation which frequently is very minimal aid to the injured athlete.

Like all lawsuits, claims involving injured athletes are always very complex.  Luckily, we have experience with sports-related Workers’ Compensation claims.  See video below:

For more information about Workers’ Compensation lawsuits, don’t hesitate contacting Bentoff & Duber, LLC.

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