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California: WCAB Had Jurisdiction to Determine NBA Player’s Cumulative Trauma Claim

October 09, 2015 (1 min read)

In spite of the fact that an NBA player was employed by a California professional basketball team for only one month at the end of his three-year career (1981–1984), and played in only four regular season games (and associated practice sessions) during that career—all with teams headquartered outside the state—a California appellate court held that the state’s Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board had a legitimate jurisdictional interest in the player’s cumulative trauma injury claim since his California-based employment occurred during the period of the exposure causing his alleged cumulative injury. The court distinguished the decision in Federal Insurance Co. v. W.C.A.B. (Johnson) (2013) 221 Cal. App. 4th 1116, 165 Cal. Rptr. 3d 288, 78 Cal. Comp. Cases 1257, in which jurisdiction over a player’s cumulative trauma claim was denied where the player played in only one game and never was employed by a California-based team. Here the NBA player was actually employed by a California team—the Los Angeles Clippers—albeit only for a short duration at the end of his career.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See New York Knickerbockers v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Macklin), 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 869 (Oct 1, 2015) [2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 869 (Oct 1, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 143.04 [143.04]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.