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Washington Redskins' Workers' Comp Cases Head to Maryland Court

The Redskins practice at the team's Virginia headquarters, but play home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

May 7, 2012
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Maryland's Court of Appeals is set to decide whether Maryland has jurisdiction over workers compensation cases from Washington Redskins players who play part time in the state.

Oral arguments were presented Thursday in Pro-Football Inc. et al. vs. Darnerien McCants. McCants played from 2001-04 for the NFL's Redskins, which is operated by Ashburn, Virginia-based Pro-Football.

The Redskins practice at the team's Virginia headquarters, but play home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. McCants was injured during games in Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia, and during a practice in Virginia, according to arguments presented last week.

Attorneys for McCants argued that Maryland has jurisdiction over Redskins workers comp claims because the team's games—most of which occur in Maryland—count as work, while practices are "preparatory" and don't guarantee that a player will make the Redskins team.

"More of the job that they're hired to do is done in Maryland than any other state, even if they go to New York two or three times or California two times during a season," attorney Benjamin Boscolo said in a video of the May 3 arguments.

But David O. Godwin Jr., an attorney for Pro-Football, said that training and practices in Virginia comprise a significant portion of work performed by Redskins players.

"It's really about the claimants forum shopping for benefits that may be different (or) better than what may be available in Virginia," Godwin said during the May 3 arguments.

Sheena Harrison writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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