The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the Washington Redskins football team has to pay workers’ compensation benefits to its former kicker, Tom Tupa. The appellate ruling upholds a 2009 jury award in Prince George County Circuit Court. The jury awarded Tupa a little over one year’s worth of disability benefits.
In 2005, Tupa injured his lower back at FedEx Field before a Redskins preseason game. The team’s owner, Pro Football Inc., argued that there was no connection between Tupa’s 2005 injury and the ongoing disability that he still claims. Tupa claims he still needs back surgery and has not played football since the 2005 injury. In 2007, he filed a claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the commission ordered the Redskins to pay partial disability and medical expenses.
The team appealed the commission’s ruling, arguing that Maryland lacked jurisdiction to award benefits because Tupa played at the team’s practice field in Virginia. However, the Maryland appeals court said that the team plays its games in Maryland, and the purpose of Tupa’s employment was to play in games, not to practice.
If you suffer injuries on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can provide disability benefits, medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation. Every state has its own set of laws for workers’ compensation and a Maryland personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process. Contact an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot.