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Athletes File Injury Claims, Including Back and Neck Injuries

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Los Angeles, CAOn the list of most dangerous careers, professional athlete does not tend to register. After all, lives are rarely in danger for a baseball player the way they are for a miner. But that does not mean that athletes are not at risk of back and neck injuries and other serious injuries. A report by the Los Angeles Times (9/25/13) shows just how many claims have been filed alleging professional athletes have suffered permanent injuries.

The report shows that in two decades, more than 2,500 baseball, hockey, basketball and soccer players have filed workers’ compensation claims against their teams. Among those, 940 alleged brain and head injuries. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 claims have been made against NFL teams, the Times reports. Serious head and neck injuries are of concern because they can result in other conditions, such as paralysis, dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Of all the sports, the NFL is probably best known for concerns about head, neck and other serious injuries. In August 2013, the NFL and former players reached a settlement worth a reported $765 million. The settlement came after a lawsuit was filed by more than 4,500 retired NFL players alleging the league hid the risks of concussions from players. The $765 million will go to cover medical care, fund medical research and cover litigation expenses, according to CBS Sports (8/29/13).

ESPN (9/20/13) reports that some of the first players to be diagnosed with brain damage linked to their time playing football might not be part of the settlement, and noted some concerns that due to the increase in the number of people diagnosed with brain damage, the settlement might not include enough money to cover all players. For example, ESPN notes, there are more than 300 people who would be eligible to reach the highest level of compensation allowed by the lawsuit - $3 million for players with dementia, $4 million for those with CTE and $5 million for those with ALS, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease - raising concerns about whether $675 million is really enough.

In agreeing to the settlement, the NFL did not admit to any liability.


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