But in a unanimous decision Monday, the appeals court upheld the district court decision. It said California workers' comp law doesn't apply to Matthews because he did not clearly show that he was injured in the state, even though he played 13 games in California during his career.
The court also disagreed with Matthews' argument that games he played in California contributed to cumulative, unspecified ailments that he now suffers.
"He did not allege any specific injury in California or a need for medical services in California," the ruling reads. "Matthews likewise did not allege in his complaint before the district court that he suffered any discrete injury in California. Nor has he directed us to anything in the record indicating that he tried to prove injury in California, or any burden on the state's resources."
The court noted that employees cannot bargain away state minimum labor standards in arbitration or collective bargaining agreements. But it said that argument does not apply in Matthews' case, because he did not prove that he has a claim under California workers' comp law.