Retired NFL Players Sue Former Team for Head Injuries
The recent $765 million settlement reached between the NFL and more than 4,500 retired players has spawned a new round of lawsuits. The subject of the most recent suit remains the same — retired players looking to receive damages for traumatic brain injuries sustained during their playing careers. However, this case is somewhat more nuanced. Five former players of the Kansas City Chiefs (Kevin Porter, Joseph Phillips, Christopher Martin, Leonard Griffin and Alexander Louis Cooper) have filed suit against the team itself rather than the NFL.
This is unique from a legal perspective, as all five of the plaintiffs were members of the team between 1987 and 1993, when no collective bargaining agreement existed between teams and players. This means that the case cannot go to arbitration, and the outcome is instead likely to be decided according to federal labor law. In addition, the state of Missouri allows employees that are ineligible to receive workers’ compensation to sue their former employers for occupational diseases resulting from time spent on the job.
This case has the potential to dredge up some fairly controversial issues related to sports injuries. Specifically, proving that the players’ traumatic brain injuries resulted directly from their time with the Chiefs could be a difficult task. After all, the players in question played football throughout their high school and college careers, and some played for different NFL teams other than the Chiefs.
There are numerous other retired players who won’t see a penny of the existing $765 million settlement with the NFL. If this case gains momentum, it could potentially open up the door for other players to receive compensation for their injuries using alternative means like this one.
You might not be a former NFL player, but you still have rights when it comes to injuries or medical conditions suffered due to your job. If you need help with workers’ compensation or other related issues, work with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney.