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Bill for ex-Saints advances in House

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Bill for ex-Saints advances in House Law repeal would aid getting workers' comp Friday, April 30, 2004 By Jan Moller Capital bureau BATON ROUGE -- A House committee voted unanimously Thursday to repeal a state law that makes it harder ...

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Old 04-30-2004, 06:32 PM   #1
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Bill for ex-Saints advances in House

Bill for ex-Saints advances in House
Law repeal would aid getting workers' comp
Friday, April 30, 2004
By Jan Moller
Capital bureau
BATON ROUGE -- A House committee voted unanimously Thursday to repeal a state law that makes it harder for former New Orleans Saints players to collect workers' compensation for injuries suffered on the playing field.

Jim Dombrowski, who played guard for the Saints from 1986 until 1997, told the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee that the law has led courts to deny his attempts to collect payments for medical costs associated with a 1996 ankle injury.


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House Bill 1438 by Rep. Edwin Murray, D-New Orleans, now heads to the House floor for consideration.

At the behest of Saints owner Tom Benson, the Legislature in 1993 made an exception to the state's workers' compensation law that applies only to Saints players. The law stipulates that players cannot collect workers' compensation until the amount they're owed is greater than the amount of salary and benefits paid to them during their playing careers.

Murray's bill would repeal that provision and another section of the state's insurance laws that defines "professional athlete" as someone who plays in the National Football League.

Attorney Robert Hackett, who represents Dombrowski on behalf of the NFL Players Association, said the law is unconstitutional because it violates the collective bargaining agreement between NFL owners and players that was approved in May 1993.

Hackett said the statute also is "a violation of the letter and spirit of the Louisiana workers' comp statute."

Dombrowski, who now works as a financial planner, said the Saints paid for surgery on his ankle after it was injured near the end of the 1996 season.

After the team released him in March 1997, ending his football career, Dombrowski made a workers' compensation claim to pay for medical costs associated with the ankle injury.

A judge denied his claim, Dombrowski said.

Since his playing days ended, Dombrowski said, he has undergone four major surgeries related to injuries he suffered on the field and anticipates several more procedures in the future.

Repealing the law would not cost the state any money because claims are paid from money contributed by team owners under the bargaining agreement.

"The players, as part of the collective bargaining agreement, we have paid for the benefits that I'm asking to receive," Dombrowski said.

No member of the Saints organization testified on the bill. Arnold Fielkow, the team's executive vice president of administration, said the Saints would have no comment.




what u guys think about this?


http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/index.s...1749356460.xml

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