NFL Team Not Liable for Attorney Fees in Player’s Workers’ Compensation Case

A Pennsylvania appellate court recently ruled that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not have to pay the attorney fees for a former player who sought Workers’ Compensation Benefits.

In Chidi Iwuoma vs. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, Iwuoma sought to have his attorney fees paid after the Steelers challenged his disability benefit award.

Iwuoma played for the Steelers from 2002-2007, but was cut in 2007.  After a 2 month contract ended with the Tennessee Titans in 2008, Iwuoma sought Workers Compensation for a left-shoulder injury, concussion-related injuries and a left-wrist injury suffered during his time with the Steelers.  A Workers’ Compensation Judge awarded Iwuoma benefits in 2010 and also required the Steelers to pay for Iwuoma’s attorney fees since the injuries were treated by the Steelers medical staff.

In its appeal, the Steelers said they did not contest the injuries, but rather whether Iwuoma was disabled by them during his time with the Steelers.

In an unpublished decision on April 18, a panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court unanimously ruled that the Steelers should not pay Iwuoma’s attorney fees because the team’s challenge was reasonable.



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