NFL Knee Injury Leads into Legal Thicket

CLEVELAND (CN) – Cornerback Daven Holly sued the Cleveland Browns and the Ohio Industrial Commission, seeking temporary total disability benefits for a knee injury – and challenging the constitutionality of an Ohio law that considers the salary he got while injured “advanced payment of disability compensation.”

     The state rejected in toto Daven’s claims for his disabling knee injury, calling it “unpersuasive,” because, among other things, “everything but the signature was completed by the injured worker’s counsel”.
     The state also rejected Daven’s appeal.
     Holly seeks declaratory judgment on several issues, including the constitutionality of the pertinent section of the Ohio Worker’s Compensation Statute (ORC 4123.56 (C)); whether the NFL team is actually “domiciled” in Ohio; and the interpretation of the NFL players’ contract.
     Holly, a 4-year NFL veteran who had to undergo surgery for injuries to his knee and bicep, also claims the rejection of his claim was unfair.
     He also claims that even if his salary payments while injured are “advanced payments of disability compensation,” they are paid by the players’ portion of NFL revenue; and the team is reimbursed by the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation for salary payments deemed “advanced payments of disability compensation,” so the team is getting a dollar-for-dollar offset and not really paying benefits at all.
     “All of these issues are intertwined and applicable to the facts of this case. The issue is whether plaintiff is entitled to Ohio disability rights arising from the knee injuries that he suffered while employed by the defendant Browns.”
     Holly seeks declaratory judgment(s), and wants the Browns ordered to pay his medical bills and his disability payments. He is represented in Cuyahoga County Court by Patrick Alcox.

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