Regardless of whether you follow how the Kansas City Chiefs are doing in the NFL draft, or whether you even follow football at all, it can come as a surprise to learn that football players – who make millions of dollars every year – are workers, too. Importantly, this means that football players can be covered by state workers’ compensation statutes if they get hurt on the field.
While there are many other complications involved in this situation, that is exactly what has happened recently in two different cases, both involving Pro-Bowl players and one involving the St. Louis Rams.
Eagles Linebacker Sues NFL for Workers’ Compensation
The most recent of the two cases involved a linebacker for was then playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. DeMeco Ryans, a two-time Pro Bowler, suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a game against the Houston Texans in 2014. On the play in which Ryans was hurt, he wasn’t even touched. Ryans was never able to fully recover from the injury, was released from the Eagles a year later, and retired.
Recently, Ryans filed a workers’ compensation against the National Football League and a personal injury lawsuit against the Houston Texans and various others because of the incident. According to Ryans, Houston’s field was made of natural grass at the time of his injury, but the grass was grown off site where it was cut into segments for transportation before being sewn back together in the stadium. These segments didn’t fit together very well, though, and massive holes in the seams were notorious among players visiting the stadium. Several other players had gotten hurt, but because they were visiting players they were ignored.
Because the injury had happened while on the job, in normal course of conduct, and from a circumstance that was not a normal risk for a professional football player, Ryans has been pursuing a workers’ compensation claim against the NFL.
Prior Personal Injury Lawsuit for Football Injury Paved the Way
Ryans’ lawsuit relies heavily on the success of the lawsuit filed by Reggie Bush against the St. Louis Rams. Bush tore his ACL in a game against the Rams when he slipped and fell on the concrete track surrounding the field. Bush, however, only sued the Rams for a premises liability “slip and fall” case, leaving workers’ compensation out of the equation.
St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
The important thing to take away from these two cases is that workers come in a variety of shapes and forms. Even if they are multi-million dollar athletes, people who are being paid wages by someone else to do a job are typically “workers” in the legal sense of the term. This can mean that an on-the-job injury can create a workers’ compensation situation.
If this ever happens to you, getting a workers’ compensation attorney from the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph is the best way to ensure you get what you deserve. Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373 to get the help you need.