See California? This Is Why You’re Broke

In 2008, former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little filed for workers’ compensation in California for the health problems and pains he still suffers from his playing career that ended more than 30 years ago. However, Floyd is now being sued along with 8 other former Broncos by the insurance company, St. Paul Fire and Marine, because it claims that the team is actually responsible.

But wait, why are Denver players filing for workers’ comp in California?

California law is unique in that it allows for professional athletes to file workers’ compensation claims in the state even if they never played for California-based teams. All that is required is to have played at least one professional game in the state.

Using that provision, thousands of former professional athletes have quietly filed claims in California. Football players are the most prominent group. A New York Times investigation last year found about 700 pending cases involving former National Football League players, along with hundreds more that had been settled.

Former professional basketball and baseball players also have filed for compensation. (Denver Post)

Now I’m not some fancy, big shot, city slicker workers’ compensation attorney, nor am I a state lawmaker with a top hat and monocle. But I have a little common sense that I use sparingly, and in this case my alarm is going apesh*t.

California currently has a debt to GDP ratio of approximately 18.7%, which amounts to almost $10,000 in debt per citizen. I don’t know what any of that means, as I live in Florida and everything is perfect here, but if thousands of former athletes are taking advantage of this loophole now, I’d have to imagine that a lawmaker might eventually notice and say, “My word, this is indubitably wasteful!” Wait, what’s that anyone who lives in California? They won’t? That’s unfortunate.