In the midst of all the brain-injury hubbub in the NFL, it sometimes seems as if everybody is trying to get a piece of the action. That, at least, is what Deion Sanders said back in February during the Superbowl pregame show. Ironically, or perhaps hypocritically, Sanders himself filed a workers’ comp claim in California back in 2010, citing head trauma and other injuries that occurred during his time with the Cowboys.
Sanders’ case has not yet been resolved, but it was determined after his filing that he was 86 percent disabled, with more than a dozen medical conditions. Out in California, the NFL is pushing for legislation that would limit claims based on cumulative injuries by out-of-state players, and that legislation is close to passing.
The NFL has been tackling the issue, or getting tackled, on several fronts. One is the workers’ compensation end of it, particularly out in California. Since 2006, over 4,400 athletes have filed claims in the state. About 80 percent of them have been filed by football players.
Just last week, the league settled a federal concussion lawsuit filed by 4,500 former players. The league will pay $765 to settle that suit. In addition, at least 43 NFL assistant coaches and other personnel have filed personal injury claims against their former teams involving brain injury or head trauma.
Whenever and however it occurs, a head injury is a serious event. In the context of workplace issues, it is important that employees receive the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. Sometimes, it takes aggressive legal action to make this happen.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Deion Sanders, critic of NFL concussion suits, seeks workers’ comp,” Ken Bensinger,