Football Player Workers’ Comp Case Goes To Supreme Court

Aug 2, 2017

A former Arena Football League player wants the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about whether he should receive workers' compensation insurance benefits because of injuries suffered while trying to regain a roster spot with the Orlando Predators.

Attorneys for Bryon Bishop filed a notice Friday that they are appealing a June 6 decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal. The notice, as is common, does not detail the arguments that Bishop's attorneys will use to try to convince the Supreme Court to take up the case.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court overturned a judge's ruling that supported workers' compensation benefits for Bishop, a former lineman for the Predators who was injured in July 2013 as he worked out with the team. The appeals court concluded that Bishop was not an employee of the Arena Football League. Bishop and a Predators coach had signed a contract, but the document had not been signed by a league official.

Unlike in the National Football League, where teams and players agree on contracts, the Arena Football League employs the players, the ruling said.

In an October 2015 decision, Judge of Compensation Claims Thomas Sculco found that a contract between Bishop and the league was binding, despite the lack of a signature from a league official. Sculco also found that Bishop suffered injuries to his right knee, neck, back and left foot and that he was entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

 

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