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NFL players prefer pursuing workers’ compensation claims in California


We’ll chalk this one up to the fact that things remain slow right now, and to the reality that I’m feeling a little nostalgic for my former day job as I approach the two-year anniversary of closing up my combination law office and batting cages.

In a Monday item from the Denver Post regarding a dispute between the Broncos and an insurance company regarding who’ll be responsible for workers’ compensation claims filed by players in California, John Ingold explains that NFL players who have played at least one game in California may file for workers’ compensation benefits under the extremely employee-friendly laws of the state that hosts the 49ers, Raiders, and Chargers.

Per the Post, “thousands” of former professional athletes have filed workers’ compensation claims in California. One of the Broncos who filed a claim in recent years is Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little.

“Your memory isn’t what it used to be,” Little said. “You don’t sleep as well as you should. I still suffer from the injuries during my career.”

The California option seems like the kind of thing that should be an issue in the ongoing labor negotiations. Either the NFL could try to close that loophole via union agreement (which may or may not legally be possible), or the NFL could extract a concession or two by allowing the current approach to continue.