Ex-NFL Players Fumble Their Cumulative Injury Claims

By John Alan Doran

In a procedurally complex case involving workers compensation claims by former NFL players, a federal court recently ruled that the players could not take advantage of California’s workers’ compensation scheme. The former NFL players, all former members of the Kansas City Chiefs, asserted that they experienced cumulative injuries as a result of their days playing for the Chiefs. Based on these supposed injuries, the players filed workers’ compensation claims against the Chiefs in California, rather than in Missouri, where the Chiefs are located. The NFL threw a flag on that play, contending that the players were required to seek workers’ compensation in Missouri based on the language of their contracts. A federal judge agreed, holding that the very terms of the players’ standard NFL contracts required them to assert their workers’ compensation claims in Missouri. Please click here to access the case.

Lesson of the day: Before you try to nullify the employer’s home field advantage, you better read your contract and its choice of law provisions.