Stadium Hazards and Workers’ Compensation for Athletes

By: Edward Jaffee Abes

Sometimes professional athletes suffer work-related injuries but not the kind one would expect such as a collision at second base or a hard hit by a linebacker. Former New York Yankee outfielder, Dustin Fowler, found this out the hard way. He suffered a season ending injury when he collided with an electrical box in right-field foul territory while attempting to catch a fly ball. His right knee collided with the unprotected electrical box. The resulting injury, a rupture of his patellar tendon, ended his season before his first major league at bat.

Fowler should be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, but because this electrical box was not wrapped in foam or similar protection, he has filed suit against the Chicago White Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority in Cook County Illinois.

Hopefully other stadiums will do a check of their facilities so that this type of danger will be eliminated.



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