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Three NFL workers comp lawsuits consolidated in California

Three NFL workers comp lawsuits consolidated in California

Three lawsuits from former National Football League players who are seeking California workers compensation benefits have been consolidated in U.S. District Court in San Francisco after a request from the NFL and several teams.

The cases involve 67 former NFL players who want to vacate a December 2012 arbitration award that requires them to withdraw workers comp claims in California, according to court records. The players played for the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

California law allows NFL players to make a claim in California if they have played at least one game in the state. The plaintiffs argue that the arbitration award violates California and federal law and public policy by waiving their ability to seek workers comp in California, records show.

U.S. District Court Judge William H. Alsup ordered the three cases to be consolidated on March 13, court records show.

The NFL Management Council and the four NFL teams filed a countersuit on March 8 asking the court to require the players to file any workers comp claims in the state specified by their respective player contracts, records show.

The California comp lawsuits are part of several claims being made against the NFL by former players seeking compensation for injuries suffered on the field. At least 2,400 former players have sued the league over neurological and cognitive problems that they allege were caused by football-related head injuries.

Most of the concussion-related cases have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The NFL is expected to use an exclusive remedy defense in those lawsuits.

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