The toll on the body occurring when playing in the National Football League is being tested off the gridiron these days.
A claim was filed in California by the wife of a retired NFL player, alleging the dementia he developed in his late 50s, necessitating his being placed in an assisted living facility at age 64, is a direct result of his time spent as an NFL lineman from 1966 to 1973. The man played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and later the San Diego Chargers and during that time he “sustained more concussions than he could count,” The New York Times reports.
Medical science has tied concussions with heightened rates of depression, mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, The Times reports researchers at “Boston University and West Virginia University have found chronic traumatic encephalopathy — a disease caused only by head trauma that typically results in progressive cognitive decline — in the brain tissue of many deceased players.”
The player’s wife filed a claim in California, where the state’s workers’ compensation system tilts in favor of retired athletes. According to state records, some 700 former NFL players are pursuing cases in California, with most of them in line to receive routine lump-sum settlements of about $100,000 to $200,000.
While most of these cases focus on knee and shoulder injuries sustained as a result of an NFL career, as well as other orthopedic conditions, this player’s case is likely to be precedent setting, in that it alleges the reason for dementia lies with work-related injuries, and thereby with the NFL itself.
His wife’s main reason for pursuing the claim is to make guaranteed care for retired players who require it and do not qualify for the 88 Plan. 88 Plan is a “program run jointly by the NFL and the players’ union that reimburses medical costs of families of former players with dementia up to $88,000 a year.” (workersxzcompxzkit)
At the present time, families receive cost reimbursements, but the bigger issue is that some players may not be able to get long-term care insurance because they are at risk for considerable cognitive or neurological damage, and therefore the families have to deal with the expenses.
Author Rebecca Shafer, J.D., President, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, health care, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers’ comp issues.
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