NEIL CORNRICH & NC SPORTS: MANAGING THE CAREERS OF PROFESSIONALS IN THE SPORTS INDUSTRY

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Court Rules for Punter on Injury





August 22, 2012

Tom Tupa, 46, who played 18 seasons in the N.F.L. as a punter, is eligible for workers’ compensation for a career-ending injury on the field, Maryland’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

Tupa sustained the injury while warming up for a preseason game in 2005 at FedEx Field in Landover while playing for the Washington Redskins. The court rejected the idea that football injuries should not be considered accidental because of the rough nature of the sport. Tupa’s injury happened “out of and in the course of (his) employment,” the Maryland Court of Appeals said in its 16-page opinion.

“He was warming up for a game when he landed awkwardly and thereafter sought immediate medical treatment,” Judge John Eldridge wrote in the opinion. “Ample evidence was presented to show that Tupa suffered a compensable accidental injury during the course of his employment.”

The team and insurers argued that Tupa’s injury was not an accidental personal injury within the meaning of Maryland’s workers’ compensation law.

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