Injuries in the NFL and Workers’ Compensation

Last month, United States District Judge Anita Brody concluded that the $675 million compensation package the NFL offered as a settlement for players who have suffered concussions may be insufficient to cover all of the costs for retired players for a 65-year term. She has delayed the settlement until the NFL’s lawyers can provide more information and analysis on how $675 million is a sufficient amount. The judge is concerned that the money may run out before some players fully show all of their symptoms.

The debate over who should bear the medical costs for injured retired football players is not new. The NFL profits from a sport that garners at least some of its popularity from the violence that it advocates. Further, people continue to question the willingness of the National Football League to collaborate in good faith with its players. According to the Huffington Post, for example, although a $675 million cap may sound like a lot of money, this is only about 10 percent of one year’s worth of revenue for the NFL.

Workers’ Compensation Challenges

While the settlement has taken over much of the discussion on medical payments for professional football players, there are other battlegrounds as well. Last fall, the NFL pushed through a new law in California barring professional players that spent most of their time playing outside of California from filing claims within the state. AB 1309 essentially amended a law in California that allowed players who did not play for an in-state team to file claims in California, as long as they played in at least one game or at one time practiced in the state.

While the NFL successfully got the law passed, it came with a cost. The attention that the media gave the lawsuit led to a significant increase in claims – from around 200 per month to nearly 600 – in order to beat the deadline before AB 1309 went into effect.

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation

In Massachusetts, professional football players are covered under the same workers’ compensation laws as all other employees in the state. The New England team is required by law to provide benefits to all employees who are injured while working. These include medical benefits, temporary total disability, partial disability, and vocational training compensation.

The delayed settlement and the changes to workers’ compensation laws in California are not the end of the issue for NFL players or the league. Until the NFL actively tries to collaborate with players to find a solution, the players will continue looking for ways to ensure they stay as healthy as possible after the end of their athletic careers. For example, we still know very little about how the brain is injured due to trauma. Over the next 30 years, doctors will certainly discover new aspects about the diseases and injuries from which players suffer. Keep in mind it was only in 2009 that the NFL acknowledged that concussions suffered by football players can have long term health consequences.

If you would like more information on the NFL’s interaction with players with regard to workers’ compensation and medical payments, or if you have a claim that you would like to discuss with an attorney, please contact John J. Sheehan or call us at 877-762-9510 today.

Photo Credit: Erik Daniel Drost via Compfight cc

Real Stories From
Our Clients

Attorney Sheehan has been serving the needs of Boston-area residents since 1993. Our mission is to ensure complete client satisfaction and to obtain the maximum possible settlement or verdict for our clients.

Historias Reales de Nuestros Clientes

El abogado Sheehan ha atendido las necesidades de los residentes del área de Boston desde el 1993. Nuestra misión es garantizar la satisfacción de nuestros clientes y obtener el mejor acuerdo posible en sus casos.

"John Sheehan is a highly knoweldgable and all around amazing lawyer!" Si volvemos a necesitar un abogado para algo en el futuro, USTED será a quien llamemos.

I was injured at work in 2019 and John and his team made the process as simple as anyone could!! They took care of everything! The only thing I had to do is rest and go to doctor appointments! I would HIGHLY recommend anyone looking for an attorney to hire John Sheehan - if you would like a nice and easy process in a highly stressful situation and on top of it attorney Sheehan will get you the maximum of what your case is worth!

John Sheehan y su personal son muy amables, corteses, rápidos y explican todo a fondo. Hicieron un trabajo maravilloso para mi esposo y para mí y no podría recomendar un abogado más calificado. Hizo TODO lo que pudo por mi esposo y por mí a través de la compensación de trabajadores. He recomendado y continuaré recomendando a John a cualquiera de mis amistades que necesiten sus destrezas. Trabajo asombroso. John, Muchas gracias tanto de Al como de mí. No puedo agradecerte lo suficiente por hacer todo lo posible por nosotros. Cada vez que teníamos una pregunta, devolvía nuestras llamadas rápidamente. Esperamos no haberte vuelto loco. Si alguna vez necesitamos un abogado para algo, USTED será a quien llamemos. Muchas gracias de nuevo. ¡Gran trabajo! John, me gustaría darte las gracias aunque Judy ya lo hizo. Usted es el major y el personal de su oficina responden llamadas en seguida. Definitivamente lo recomendaremos a nuestros amigos si necesitan sus servicios. ¡Gracias nuevamente por un trabajo bien hecho!

- Jon P. (Google) Judy y Al Crowe
5.0/5.0