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Settlements reached in NFL workers comp claims in California

Posted On: Jul. 9, 2013 12:00 AM CST

Settlements reached in NFL workers comp claims in California

A settlement has been reached in three cases involving former National Football League players who sought to file workers compensation claims in California, according to court filings posted online Monday.

The cases involved 67 former NFL players who wanted to vacate a December 2012 arbitration award that requires them to withdraw workers comp claims in California, according to filings in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

The players played for the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, and the NFL Management Council also was named as a defendant in the lawsuits. The cases were consolidated in March.

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

An order filed Monday by District Judge William Alsup said parties in the three cases reached a settlement agreement before Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu, who has been assigned to handle any further proceedings in the lawsuits. A hearing scheduled for Thursday in the cases has been vacated, according to the order.

Judge Ryu has ordered transcripts of the settlement discussions to be sealed, according to court records.

California is considering legislation that would limit workers comp claims from out-of-state athletes who say they were hurt while playing temporarily in the state. Such claims are estimated to represent $1.57 billion in potential liability for California, according to an August 2012 report by Seattle-based actuarial and consulting firm Milliman Inc.