May 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown watches work outs during mini camp at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Back in September of 2009, we first relayed word about the Bengals filing a lawsuit against former players who filled out worker's compensation benefits in the state of California and not in Ohio. As was noted in the article, filing these benefits in California helps out a player because it "allows insurance payments to workers who can show they suffered trauma that compounded over a period of time." This obviously costs the team quite a bit of money that they feel isn't necessarily owed to the players.
Later, The New York Times reported that a federal judge ruled against the Bengals in their claim against former players. Most recently, A U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of the Bengals position on May 4th. According to FOX 19, the Bengals are taking this most recent ruling to a federal level and are asking a judge at that level to uphold it.The number of players listed in the claim from the Bengals was 31, but has since grown to 36.
The Cincinnati Bengals are asking a federal judge to enforce an order that requires dozens of former players to move their workers comp claims from California to Ohio.
At issue is a lawsuit that says players' contracts require workers compensation to be pursued only in Ohio. The Bengals also say Ohio law allows employers and employees to resolve workers comp claims exclusively in Ohio.
The Bengals' complaint filed Friday asks U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott (duh-LAHT') to enforce a May 4 mediator's opinion siding with the Bengals in their dispute with 36 players named in the complaint.
We'll see where this goes, though it likely won't be a quick resolution. An argument can be made for both sides (the team and its former players), but it appears that there's still a bit of a black cloud over the team's reputation with former players. Not only is there this squabble, but the team still hasn't made any goodwill gestures towards former greats and possibly honoring them. Regardless, it's a savvy move by the Brown family, who come from a law background.
We'll be sure to update you more on this as it happens.