The workers’ compensation system in Connecticut covers many types of injuries sustained while at work. However, typically the key element that the injured must prove is that the injury was work-related. This is relatively easy to do when the injury comes from a workplace accident, such as a machinery accident or a slip and fall. It can be trickier when the injury is cumulative, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury.
Recently, a former basketball player for the Connecticut Sun WNBA team lost her attempt to claim workers’ compensation in California. The former basketball pro sustained a knee injury during her career in the WNBA and now suffers from chronic injuries to her shoulder, hip, spine and ankle, according to court documents.
The woman tried to file a claim in California as well, after having played only one professional game in that state. She argued that because her injuries were cumulative, every game she played contributed to her injury, and that therefore she should be able to file a claim in that state.
After working its way through the court system, her case went to the Second Appellate District for the California Court of Appeal. There, a three-judge panel ruled that the state did not have jurisdiction over her claim. Any contribution to her injury in the state of California was so minimal, the court ruled, that the state could not hear her claim.
Fortunately for the woman, one of her claims was honored by the Connecticut workers’ compensation system, which awarded her a $30,000 settlement in 2003.
When it works smoothly the Connecticut workers’ compensation system gets injured workers the benefits they need to help with medical expenses and lost wages. When it doesn’t work smoothly, it can be very difficult to navigate the system and stand up for one’s rights. A qualified Connecticut attorney can help injured workers to get the benefits they deserve.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Injured Former WNBA Player Loses Comp Case,” Jeff D. Gorman, Dec. 4, 2013