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Straight, No Chaser
04-28-2005, 02:02 AM
Judge tells NFL to pay ex-Chief's estate

Posted on Thu, Apr. 28, 2005
KC STAR

A federal judge has ordered the NFL to pay the estate of Hall of Fame center Mike Webster disability benefits for head injuries caused by his football career.

U.S. District Judge William Quarles Jr. on Tuesday in Baltimore granted the request by Webster's estate that the NFL Player Retirement Plan and the NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan pay all benefits owed under the plan retroactive to March 1991, when Webster became totally and permanently disabled. The payment must also include interest.

Quarles did not set a dollar amount on the payment, but ordered the NFL and Webster's estate to determine the amount in 25 days. The lawsuit had been filed in federal court in Baltimore, where the NFL plans are administered.

Webster, who played center for the Steelers during 1974-88 and was the Chiefs' center in 1989 and '90, died in September 2002 in Pittsburgh. He was 50.

According to the lawsuit, Webster, who played 177 consecutive games, was diagnosed with brain damage resulting from the long-term head trauma he sustained during his NFL career.

“By the time he retired in 1990, Mr. Webster had — according to the NFL's own physician — ‘multiple head injuries' and ‘a dementing illness,' ” the lawsuit said. “In short, he was ‘punch drunk.' ”

After leaving the NFL, Webster was tormented by debt, depression and poor health. He was homeless at times and at one point lived in the Chiefs' equipment room when he worked briefly as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Webster was not capable of “fulfilling the responsibilities of that job” because of his disabilities, the lawsuit claims. In 1999, Webster pleaded no contest to charges he forged prescriptions for the drug Ritalin. He was placed on probation in Beaver County, Pa.

That year, Webster applied for “total and permanent disability benefits” under the NFL plan. But in November 1999, the plan refused to grant Webster an active football disability pension.


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CoMoChief
04-28-2005, 02:16 AM
This is retarded. Its not the NFL's fault that he had these head traumas, thats part of getting hit in the game. A lot of times you can prevent that. NFL should not be responsible.

wildcat09
04-28-2005, 03:37 AM
If that is the case i wonder if i could file a claim against the college i went to for mental and emotional stress?

mcan
04-28-2005, 03:51 AM
This is retarded. Its not the NFL's fault that he had these head traumas, thats part of getting hit in the game. A lot of times you can prevent that. NFL should not be responsible.


I feel like if I'm hurt on the job, I deserve some kind of compensation. The same standard should be held by the NFL. Hell, they don't make the players pay for an MRI on a slightly buised knee, right? So, isn't that in effect, assuming responsability for even the slightest of injuries? Why should the case be any different when there is a MAJOR injury? Don't you think that Dennis Bird (Byrd?) should have gotten compensation? Why is this so different?

Pants
04-28-2005, 04:05 AM
I feel like if I'm hurt on the job, I deserve some kind of compensation. The same standard should be held by the NFL. Hell, they don't make the players pay for an MRI on a slightly buised knee, right? So, isn't that in effect, assuming responsability for even the slightest of injuries? Why should the case be any different when there is a MAJOR injury? Don't you think that Dennis Bird (Byrd?) should have gotten compensation? Why is this so different?

Umm, dude, players KNOW what they are getting into. If you don't want to get hurt in the NFL, don't play in the NFL. It's as simple as that.

CrazyHorse
04-28-2005, 04:14 AM
Umm, dude, players KNOW what they are getting into. If you don't want to get hurt in the NFL, don't play in the NFL. It's as simple as that.

With the way the NFL pushes players to play hurt, you have to have some sort of protection.

It's really no different than if you work on an assembly line and develop carpel tunnel(sp?). Though you know it is a risk, you still have to go to work. If it happens, you do have protection so that if you are unable to continue doing the work, your family wont starve to death.

Pants
04-28-2005, 04:23 AM
With the way the NFL pushes players to play hurt, you have to have some sort of protection.

It's really no different than if you work on an assembly line and develop carpel tunnel(sp?). Though you know it is a risk, you still have to go to work. If it happens, you do have protection so that if you are unable to continue doing the work, your family wont starve to death.

I disagree. Football is a full contact sport, injuries are common and are a part of a game. If I was a race driver and got in a crash I wouldn't expect the organization to pay for my injuries. NFL players get big money for a chance of getting hurt. Risk and reward.

Also, NFL doesn't push anybody to do anything. If you don't like it - quit.

CrazyHorse
04-28-2005, 04:39 AM
I disagree. Football is a full contact sport, injuries are common and are a part of a game. If I was a race driver and got in a crash I wouldn't expect the organization to pay for my injuries. NFL players get big money for a chance of getting hurt. Risk and reward.

Also, NFL doesn't push anybody to do anything. If you don't like it - quit.

You obviously haven't seen the Mike Webster story. I watched a show on it some time back. The NFL left this guy hangin'.

You are making a blanket statement that does not apply in any other field of work. Why would you hold NFL players to a different standard?

You can be injured in almost any activity. When you go to work today there is a chance you could get injured. I will give you an example.

If I worked at a tire place changing tires. In changing a tractor tire I accidentally get a large metal splinter in my eye from breaking the tire down. The metal shard cuases infection that cost me my sight for the rest of my life.

Whether I make a lot of money, or not much at all, I am being paid to do a particular job. The risks of being injured in a tire shop are there, and have always been there.

Are you saying that instead of getting compensation, that because I knew of the risk I should have just quit and done something else where there is "NO" chance of getting injured?

If you hold NFL players to that standard, then you have to hold everyone else to the same standard. Including yourself. Money should have no bearing on the subject.

Saggysack
04-28-2005, 04:47 AM
Umm, dude, players KNOW what they are getting into. If you don't want to get hurt in the NFL, don't play in the NFL. It's as simple as that.

:shake:

Lord have mercy. The man was permanently disabled from his career in the NFL. How many employers do you know that aren't liable for a permanent disablity to an employee resulting from their job they were paid to perform?

Personally, I think you may be drinking to much chlorine from the school lab to even think that the NFL is not atleast partially liable from his permanent disability that eventually led to his demise.

Hell, a fry cook at McDonalds knows that he/she could be splashed in the eyes with hot oil and be blinded for the rest of their life. Does that mean the employer is not liable for the injury because the employee knew the danger the hot oil posed?

Pants
04-28-2005, 05:02 AM
I don't know about this guy's story, but I don't think any of those examples apply. Football is a full contact sport, inuries are not just possible, but EXPECTED (esp. at certain positions). Of course injuries are possible in any field of work (you can slip and fall doing anything) but this is the NFL, people get hit by 280 pound guys at full speed, it's a part of the game. Get real.

I don't think it's the league's fault the guy was disabled. I think it would be more appropriate for the guy to get money from the team he played for and, consequentially, gave up his body for. Again, no one made him pick a sport where he gets destroyed by monster atheletes like himself.

Saggysack
04-28-2005, 05:13 AM
I don't know about this guy's story, but I don't think any of those examples apply. Football is a full contact sport, inuries are not just possible, but EXPECTED (esp. at certain positions). Of course injuries are possible in any field of work (you can slip and fall doing anything) but this is the NFL, people get hit by 280 pound guys at full speed, it's a part of the game. Get real.

I don't think it's the league's fault the guy was disabled. I think it would be more appropriate for the guy to get money from the team he played for and, consequentially, gave up his body for. Again, no one made him pick a sport where he gets destroyed by monster atheletes like himself.

How about a Police Officer. If they get shot and paralyzed on the job, is their employer liable from the resulting disabilty? Or does it just get thrown out the window because they knew the dangers of the job?

Yes, the NFL was not the team that hired him. However a player doesn't retire from a team, he retires from the NFL.

Pants
04-28-2005, 05:19 AM
Police and army are a completely different animal. Let me ask you this, should Homonowski ask the league for a compensation for all the concussions he received and is now all f*cked up?

Saggysack
04-28-2005, 05:22 AM
Police and army are a completely different animal. Let me ask you this, should Homonowski ask the league for a compensation for all the concussions he received and is now all f*cked up?

No, Police and the military are not different at all. They are still liable for a employees on the job injuries.

As far as Romo goes, that is up to him and nobody else other than him to make a claim.

Skip Towne
04-28-2005, 05:29 AM
Police and army are a completely different animal. Let me ask you this, should Homonowski ask the league for a compensation for all the concussions he received and is now all f*cked up?
He probably will and he will probably get it too. Read what the judge said.

CrazyHorse
04-28-2005, 05:53 AM
I don't know about this guy's story, but I don't think any of those examples apply. Football is a full contact sport, inuries are not just possible, but EXPECTED (esp. at certain positions). Of course injuries are possible in any field of work (you can slip and fall doing anything) but this is the NFL, people get hit by 280 pound guys at full speed, it's a part of the game. Get real.

I don't think it's the league's fault the guy was disabled. I think it would be more appropriate for the guy to get money from the team he played for and, consequentially, gave up his body for. Again, no one made him pick a sport where he gets destroyed by monster atheletes like himself.

I agree with you to a certain extent. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. You cannot expect the NFL to pay for every concussion.

Let's say however that a rook goes out on his 1st ever NFL special teams kickoff coverage and breaks his neck. Does his family recieve compensation. This is a guy that perhaps has made 200,000 bucks in his carreer.

Again, there has to be a line drawn somewhere. In the case of Mike Webster, I have no problem with the line drawn here.

patteeu
04-28-2005, 06:32 AM
I disagree. Football is a full contact sport, injuries are common and are a part of a game. If I was a race driver and got in a crash I wouldn't expect the organization to pay for my injuries. NFL players get big money for a chance of getting hurt. Risk and reward.

Also, NFL doesn't push anybody to do anything. If you don't like it - quit.

What if your race car drivers union had an agreement with the racing organization that obligated the organization to pay for disabilities resulting from your races? I think that's what's going on here.

Skip Towne
04-28-2005, 07:13 AM
What if your race car drivers union had an agreement with the racing organization that obligated the organization to pay for disabilities resulting from your races? I think that's what's going on here.
I think you are probably right. Like any disreputable insurance company, the NFL will try to weasel out of any claim it can. But I have no problem with them paying those players that receive disabling injuries. That is what the plan is for.

Lzen
04-28-2005, 07:32 AM
Did anyone else find it ironic that the judge's name is Quarles? :D

mcan
04-28-2005, 08:50 AM
That rookie is DEFINATELY entitled to a big settlement. (broke his neck on his first preseason kick coverage unit).


According to the "line drawn somewhere" players should have to pay for their own X-Rays and MRIs every time they get bumped up. We all know that doesn't happen. Yes, football is a full contact sport, but that's why each NFL team is required to have a MEDICAL STAFF. Precisely because the NFL and the respective teams are RESPONSIBLE for any and all injuries as a result of the playing the game, or even working out at the complex, running the track, staying late to run drills, or get hit by a falling ceiling tile while watching film in the film room. THE NFL is liable for all of that. It sounds like the league was just saying "There is no way to tell if Webster's demensia is from the game or not" so they denied his claim. That's shitty IMO.

munkey
04-28-2005, 08:53 AM
I too saw the story on Webster and I'm not sure who to side with....The guy really is messed up....

Clark Hunt was on the board that denied compensation the first time and if memory serves me correctly and there was some issue that related to the time he worked with the Chiefs. I'd have to look into it....I do know that this could possible open a HUGE can of worms for the NFL...

I wouldn't be surprised to see the NFL appeal this.

mcan
04-28-2005, 08:56 AM
I too saw the story on Webster and I'm not sure who to side with....The guy really is messed up....

Clark Hunt was on the board that denied compensation the first time and if memory serves me correctly and there was some issue that related to the time he worked with the Chiefs. I'd have to look into it....I do know that this could possible open a HUGE can of worms for the NFL...

I wouldn't be surprised to see the NFL appeal this.


The only argument I can see is that if he was doing any kind of illegal drugs like cocaine or meth at the time, and they think that his current condition has more to do with THAT. Although that's a pretty weak argument, since very few people get that sorta thing from drugs alone. But, quite a few people that have been hit in the head really hard repeatedly have gotten brain damage...

InChiefsHell
04-28-2005, 09:06 AM
C'mon people!!

The NFL = High risk, potential high reward. This is a job where you are expected to have major physical contact contantly, whereas if you work at McDonalds you are not expected to splash fry oil in your face. A better analogy would be if you were hired at McDonalds for a 600,000 salary, an was required to run around the kitchen as fast as you could. You might slip, you might not. If you are injured while performing the duties you are expected to perform, and those duties could easily cause injury, I don't think you have much of a leg to stand on.

On the other hand, Teams make a crapload of money, and some players make a crapload of money, but some players don't and ultimately we the fans are the ones paying minimum 70$ for a ticket, 20$ to park, 7$ for a beer etc. just to watch these athletes beat the shit out of each other. If we didn't watch, they wouldn't play.

...maybe it is our fault as fans...:shrug:

munkey
04-28-2005, 09:38 AM
The only argument I can see is that if he was doing any kind of illegal drugs like cocaine or meth at the time, and they think that his current condition has more to do with THAT. Although that's a pretty weak argument, since very few people get that sorta thing from drugs alone. But, quite a few people that have been hit in the head really hard repeatedly have gotten brain damage...

If memory serves me correctly the NFL or should I say Chiefs claimed he preformed his job without showing any limitations caused by any head trauma....That's just what I kinda remember...

patteeu
04-28-2005, 09:44 AM
C'mon people!!

The NFL = High risk, potential high reward. This is a job where you are expected to have major physical contact contantly, whereas if you work at McDonalds you are not expected to splash fry oil in your face. A better analogy would be if you were hired at McDonalds for a 600,000 salary, an was required to run around the kitchen as fast as you could. You might slip, you might not. If you are injured while performing the duties you are expected to perform, and those duties could easily cause injury, I don't think you have much of a leg to stand on.

On the other hand, Teams make a crapload of money, and some players make a crapload of money, but some players don't and ultimately we the fans are the ones paying minimum 70$ for a ticket, 20$ to park, 7$ for a beer etc. just to watch these athletes beat the shit out of each other. If we didn't watch, they wouldn't play.

...maybe it is our fault as fans...:shrug:

This isn't a negligence lawsuit. This is a claim against a disability program that the NFL has in place. The only question was whether or not this "disability" falls under the terms of the agreement. Since none of us know what the terms of the agreement are and since none of us know all the details about Webster's condition or it's causes, it's impossible for any of us to have an intelligent position on whether or not this case turned out right.

jarjar
04-28-2005, 09:44 AM
People really don't know this story at all. What's the issue here is that the NFL has an agreement with the players association that if a player is permanently injured to a point that they are unable to support themselves (full disability), they are entitled to compensation. There isn't any argument about whether the NFL should do this, they already agreed to it. The problem is that the NFL screwed this guy by saying that he wasn't disabled even though all medical sources said he was, including the NFL's own doctors. I don't know why they chose to fk this guy, but they did, and now he is rightly getting what was entitled to him under the contract that the NFL agreed to.

jarjar
04-28-2005, 09:44 AM
This isn't a negligence lawsuit. This is a claim against a disability program that the NFL has in place. The only question was whether or not this "disability" falls under the terms of the agreement. Since none of us know what the terms of the agreement are and since none of us know all the details about Webster's condition or it's causes, it's impossible for any of us to have an intelligent position on whether or not this case turned out right.

Actually this story was well documented on TV awhile back. It's pretty clear that they screwed the guy.

InChiefsHell
04-28-2005, 10:32 AM
This isn't a negligence lawsuit. This is a claim against a disability program that the NFL has in place. The only question was whether or not this "disability" falls under the terms of the agreement. Since none of us know what the terms of the agreement are and since none of us know all the details about Webster's condition or it's causes, it's impossible for any of us to have an intelligent position on whether or not this case turned out right.

Well, that being the case, I'd amend my position. If they have something like that in place, they should pay.

It just seems a little weird that they would have something like that in place, but I guess it makes sense.

patteeu
04-28-2005, 11:17 AM
Actually this story was well documented on TV awhile back. It's pretty clear that they screwed the guy.

Well, I guess when I say "none of us" and "any of us" what I really mean is me and the other yahoos who are as inadequately informed about the details as I am. ;) LOL

go bowe
04-28-2005, 11:33 AM
I think you are probably right. Like any disreputable insurance company, the NFL will try to weasel out of any claim it can. But I have no problem with them paying those players that receive disabling injuries. That is what the plan is for.bingo... :thumb:

another way to look at it is that the nfl has private disability insurance plan for it's players...

when someone meets the stated qualifications of the plan, they are supposed to get benefits...

all this crap about assuming the risk is crazy...

so, if you're driving your car and get in a wreck, your insurance isn't supposed to pay you because you "assumed the risk"?

that is ridiculous...

i'm glad the nfl's disability plan has to pay under it's own rules...

i just wish they had paid the benefits to mike while he was still alive...

go bowe
04-28-2005, 11:40 AM
This isn't a negligence lawsuit. This is a claim against a disability program that the NFL has in place. The only question was whether or not this "disability" falls under the terms of the agreement. Since none of us know what the terms of the agreement are and since none of us know all the details about Webster's condition or it's causes, it's impossible for any of us to have an intelligent position on whether or not this case turned out right.i can't recall all the specifics, but there have been times that webster's situation was reported and i think i read portions of the nfl's disability plan as it pertained to webster's situation...

this lawsuit has been going on for awhile, and his pathetic post-football existence has been the subject of news articles and tv reports over the years...

iirc, there was some discussion about webster's situation when he tried to do that job with the chiefs and was living in the chiefs' weight room, was it?

imo, webster deserved the benefits under the rules of the nfl disability plan and i, for one, am thrilled that his family finally got what was owed to mike...

as i've said before, i just wish mike had gotten the benefits he deserved while he was still alive and could have used them to make his life more bearable...

Kerberos
04-28-2005, 12:04 PM
Mike Webster came from the "HEAD SLAP" era.. Does ANYONE on this board have a clue to what that is like?

I DO

I was taught the Head Slap from my coach in High School ... He played for K-state during the Steve Grogan years (when they were once succesfull before Snyder days). He also played Pro Canadian football.

I am hear to tell you that we used the head slap till it was ruled illegal in KS football and we used it even after that when we could get away with it.

Point is this.... THAT shit hurts ... even at the High School level that shit hurt BAD. When I was a freshman I got a good head slap from a senior that was not really that athletic but was BIG and it put me on the ground seeing stars. As well I layed some head slaps on guys that had to go out of the game for a couple of plays and regain thier composure. It was fun for the SLAPPER but pretty damn painful for the SLAPP-E.

I can only IMAGINE that college level was that much more and NOT to mention PRO level ...

I am sure Mike Webster was HEAD SLAPPED to death at center and Personnally I feel that anyone from that era and before should be entiltled to something... there was ALLOT more contact and shit going on between the whistles than there is NOW ... It's a FACT.

Say what you want about knowing about violence before the Fight but I think some of the injuries deserve some compensation ... MIKE WEBSTER is a foothold for allot of people to start asking for CASH that is no doubt ... but if they are doo that cash then so be it!

JUST IMO


.

whoman69
04-28-2005, 12:44 PM
According to the argument some are giving here, then this must be true as well. Working on power lines is dangerous work. Those who work on power lines know its dangerous work. So if they are severely injured or worse, they should get nothing because they knew it was dangerous. Equally a soldier who gets his leg blown off should get nothing.