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Op-Ed: Worker's Comp Could Cost The NFL More Than The Concussion Settlement

Young_Chitlin YCN Chief/FCC Member/#RedVelvetSquad Member/IC Task Force GeneralASUville, PhoenixMembers Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 2013 in Strictly Business

The headline on and main talking point from this L.A. Times article is almost distracting, but it's fun: It turns out that 🤬 and/or hypocrite Deion Sanders, who criticized former players are just "trying to make money" off of concussion lawsuits against the NFL, filed his own worker's compensation claim alleging that he's disabled from head trauma and other playing injuries.

But the bigger picture is more fascinating, if less conceptually satisfying. Taking advantage of a unique California law that allows athletes to pursue injury claims against their teams even if they only played a single road game in California, nearly 4,400 athletes, 80 percent of them football players, have filed worker's comp claims.

The Times pulled out the current NFL employees with claims pending; They include NFL Network analysts Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, Darren Sharper, and Willie McGinest, and current coaches from nearly every team.

In all, the paper estimates the claims could cost as much as $1 billion, to be paid by the teams and by their insurance companies.
Although workers' compensation is administered by states, it essentially functions as a private insurance program. Awards are paid by employers or their insurance companies, not taxpayers. Employees who are injured at work may file for workers' compensation, but they cannot sue in civil court.

California is one of a handful of states that recognize so-called cumulative injuries, incurred over time, a category that includes brain trauma. It also allows some players to file years or even decades after their careers are over, because of a notification provision that most teams failed to follow. That has made it the forum of choice for retired athletes in recent years.

The train might be leaving the station soon. Legislation to be voted on next week could ban professional athletes from pursuing worker's comp claims unless they played for California teams. Which seems fair, until you remember California's particularly steep "🤬 tax," which requires all athletes to pay income taxes for road games they play in the state. That tax pulls in more than $200 million a year.


  • Young_Chitlin
    Young_Chitlin YCN Chief/FCC Member/#RedVelvetSquad Member/IC Task Force General ASUville, PhoenixMembers Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2013

    Deion Sanders; analyst, NFL Network

    Brian Baldinger; analyst, NFL Network

    Bucky Brooks; analyst/reporter, NFL Network

    Marshall Faulk; analyst, NFL Network

    Michael Irvin; analyst, NFL Network

    Willie McGinest; analyst, NFL Network

    Darren Sharper; analyst, NFL Network

    Phil McGeoghan; assistant wide receiver coach, Miami Dolphins

    Pepper Johnson; linebackers coach, New England Patriots

    Anthony Lynn; assistant head coach, New York Jets

    Mike Devlin; offensive line coach, New York Jets

    Tim McDonald; defensive backs coach, New York Jets

    Todd Washington; assistant offensive line coach, Baltimore Ravens

    Jon Embree; tight ends coach, Cleveland Browns

    Mike Sullivan; offensive line coach, Cleveland Browns

    Cedric Smith, strength and conditioning coach; Houston Texans

    Brant Boyer; assistant special teams coach, Indianapolis Colts

    Tom Myslinski; strength and conditioning coach, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Bruce Matthews; offensive line coach, Tennessee Titans

    Lenny McGill; assistant director of college scouting, Denver Broncos

    Eric Bieniemy; running backs coach, Kansas City Chiefs

    Al Harris; assistant defensive backs coach, Kansas City Chiefs

    Joey Clinkscales; director of players personnel, Oakland Raiders

    Justin Griffith; offensive quality control, Oakland Raiders

    Gary Brown; running backs coach, Dallas Cowboys

    Jerome Henderson; defensive secondary coach, Dallas Cowboys

    Leon Lett; defensive assistant/defensive line coach, Dallas Cowboys

    David Merritt; defensive secondary/safeties coach, New York Giants

    Larry Izzo; assistant special teams coach, New York Giants

    Todd Lyght, assistant defensive backs coach, Philadelphia Eagles

    Kris Kocurek; defensive line coach; Detroit Lions

    Bradford Banta; assistant linebackers coach, Detroit Lions

    Marcus Robertson; defensive secondary coach, Detroit Lions

    Tim Terry; assistant director of pro personnel; Green Bay Packers

    Alonzo Highsmith; senior personnel executive, Green Bay Packers

    Winston Moss; assistant head coach, Green Bay Packers

    Darren Perry; safeties coach, Green Bay Packers

    Jimmie Johnson; tight ends coach, Minnesota Vikings

    Jeff Davidson; offensive line coach, Minnesota Vikings

    Ricky Proehl; wide receivers coach; Carolina Panthers

    Ray Brown; assistant offensive line coach; Carolina Panthers

    Earnest Byner; running backs coach; Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Bryan 🤬 ; defensive front seven coach; Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Billy Miller; coaching assistant; Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Quentin Harris; director of pro scouting, Arizona Cardinals

    Stump Mitchell; running backs coach; Arizona Cardinals

    Brentson Buckner; defensive line coach, Arizona Cardinals

    Ran Carthon; director of pro personnel; St. Louis Rams

    Joe Bowden; assistant linebackers coach; St. Louis Rams

    Marquand Manuel; defensive assistant; Seattle Seahawks
  • Young_Chitlin
    Young_Chitlin YCN Chief/FCC Member/#RedVelvetSquad Member/IC Task Force General ASUville, PhoenixMembers Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭