Maryland’s highest court ruled that longtime NFL punter Tom Tupa is eligible for workers’ compensation. Tupa suffered a career-ending back injury while warming up for a preseason game in 2005 at FedEx Field while he was a member of the Washington Redskins.
Maryland Court of Appeals said, Tupa’s injury happened “out of and in the course of (his) employment.” The Redskins argued that Tupa’s injury was not an accidental personal injury within the meaning of Maryland’s workers’ compensation law. The court rejected this argument.
Judge Eldridge wrote, “He was warming up for a game when he landed awkwardly and thereafter sought immediate medical treatment. Ample evidence was presented to show that Tupa suffered a compensable accidental injury during the course of his employment.”
Tupa’s attorney said, “I don’t think that clubs are now able to argue that, since football is a hazardous employment, players don’t get workers’ compensation benefits.” Tupa is forty-six years old and played eighteen seasons in the NFL for seven teams from 1988 to 2005. He played no games for the Washington Redskins after his injury in 2005.
Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.
Tom Tupa eligible for workers compensation, court finds, nfl.com, August 22, 2012