Court of Appeal case on professional athlete filed seventeen years after the cumulative trauma
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- November 1, 2015
This is a Court of Appeal published case
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant filed a cumulative trauma injury as a professional athlete from 1981 to 1984 in 2011. The applicant was a member of the New York Knickerbockers an out of state basketball team.
The applicant played games in California and played preseason games for the Los Angles Clippers. He first learned of his right to file Workers’ Compensation benefits in 2011.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found the applicant suffered a cumulative trauma to his back. The WCJ determined the Statute of Limitations and the Doctrine of Laches did not apply due to the applicant not being advised of his rights. The applicant was given a 76 percent disability.
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) affirmed the WCJ and concluded there was no denial of due process in exerting subject matter jurisdiction over the applicant.
On appeal the defendant filed an unverified petition for Writ of Review. After oral argument the court let the defendant file the verified petition. It was also argued the appeal was filed in the wrong district. The court indicated that filing in the wrong district is not a jurisdictional defect.
The appellate court indicated California had a legitimate interest over the applicant’s injuries and affirmed benefits. It was remanded to award attorney fees for defendant filing the petition for review.
Case: New York Knickerbockers v. WCAB (Macklin)