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Chicago Bears turn over $12.5 million to settle comp claims

Posted On: Apr. 28, 2017 1:29 PM CST

Chicago Bears turn over $12.5 million to settle comp claims

The Chicago Bears has learned that settling its rough-and-tumble workers compensation claims can be a real bear. 

Over the past 20 years the football team has spent nearly $12.5 million to settle worker compensation claims filed by 141 players, according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times. 

And the team it still grappling with 144 additional claims from 55 other players, including Brian Urlacher, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, the newspaper reported, relying on data from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Officials with the team told reporters that the amount they pay for injury settlements could be “substantially reduced if the state of Illinois would make a change to its worker compensation law, which is among the most generous in the America,” according to the Sun-Times. 

The city’s other sports teams — the Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox — are asking state legislators to amend a law regarding the age limit for “wage-differential payments” or money that workers can collect until age 67 if job-related injuries force them into lower-paying positions. 

Wage-differential payments are supposed to cover the difference between the previous and current jobs but, in Illinois, can’t exceed $55,000 a year and are covered by the employer — an issue that is taxing sports teams, the newspaper reported.