An appeal of a workers' compensation case by a former NFL player has been denied in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The plaintiff played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2004-2005 season. During the first game of the season, he injured his hamstring, and this injury resulted in the need for surgery and rehabilitation. He did not play in another game all season.
At the end of that season, the team opted not to re-sign the player's contract, though he continued rehabilitation under the supervision of the team trainers and was provided severance pay in the amount of $50,000. After healing from his injury, he was not offered a position on any other teams and has since worked as a salesman, personal trainer and coach. In 2007, he filed a workers' compensation claim backdated to the date of the injury in 2004. The claim was denied.
The former player fought the denial of the claim in court, and a judge ruled that he had not lost income as a result of his work-related injury since he had only had a one-year contract and had been provided his full pay for that entire season. Doctors had also found that he had healed and was then able to play. Therefore, the denial of the claim stood. The former Steeler continued to appeal his case to the appellate court and to the state's Supreme Court. The final ruling of the state's Supreme Court upheld the original denial of the claim.
When individuals are injured on the job, they may be unable to continue to work in their desired occupation. The workers' compensation claims process can be challenging, and some claims may be denied. When an individual is preparing to file a claim or if a claim has been denied, they may seek legal assistance from a workers' compensation attorney.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Pa. Supreme Court denies appeal of former Steelers player Ainsley Battles in workers’ comp case", Jon Campisi, January 27, 2014