Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sports & Labor Law

This story features two WNY native sons: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former SU and NFL star Daryl Johnston (Chautauqua and Niagara Counties, respectively). It is an interesting question, even if not really addressed in the article: what responsibility does the players' union have to former players? It's a similar question to what might be faced in coal mining unions--what happens when the black lung sets in after someone hasn't been in the mine for a few years? It's job-related risk, but it's not directly "on the job" injury.

The article, in discussing Johnston's neck injury, also touches on an issue the Jamestown Lawyer sees far too often in dealing with injured clients: the "able to work" distinction. I have encountered people who have lost decent jobs due to illness and injury and then have been turned down for benefits because they are found eligible for 4 or 5 hours a day at a fast food restaurant, even though the wages won't put a dent in Rx costs. All of which is your Jamestown Lawyer standing on a soapbox and not law-related, directly, but certainly an area where law and legislation should combine to add some common sense to the system.


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