Former Charlotte, North Carolina Football Player Sues For Work-Related Injuries

Posted by Christopher Shumate | Dec 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

Eric Shelton is twenty-seven years old, and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He played one season in the NFL during 2006 with the Carolina Panthers. Mr. Shelton later sustained a neck injury during a helmet to helmet collision in the Washington Redskins training camp in 2008. He subsequently filed a claim under the NFL's disability plan for a permanent neck injury. He was awarded benefits for "degenerative" impairments that appear more than six or twelve months after an original injury, rather than the maximum benefit for injuries that cause immediate, permanent harm.

Mr. Shelton has now filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging the NFL's disability plan improperly withheld benefits for his injury. This case is interesting given the recent publicity regarding helmet-to-helmet impacts in the NFL, and the efforts among both the league and the players' union to reduce the effects of such collisions. Workers' compensation cases filed by former NFL athletes, Mr. Shelton's case, and the recent acknowledgment of the neurological risks of helmet to helmet impacts, could result in increased compensation of NFL players who worked in the era when the league disputed those risks. Cy Smith, who represents Mr. Shelton remarked "Talk is cheap -- it's easy to put out posters and public-service announcements and levy fines for hits that occur on Sundays, but when a player is seriously injured on those hits, the league says something completely different." "The plan's position that this must be degenerative is in sharp contrast to how dangerous these hits are. The mechanism of injury here is what they've said 1,000 times is the most dangerous."

About the Author

Christopher Shumate

Mr. Chris Shumate is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked various jobs while pursuing his undergraduate and Juris Doctor education, including several heavy manual labor and skilled trade positions. In his practice, Mr. Shumate often encounters circumstances where these prior experiences are helpful in representing you. Upon graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Shumate joined one of the Carolinas' larger defense firms, where he represented a diverse set of employers and insurance companies in civil cases and workers' compensation claims across the Carolinas. Chris utilized this experience to obtain a working knowledge of the insurance industry, and build personal contacts used today in representing you. Mr. Shumate ultimately decided he wanted to focus his law practice on assisting those who have been injured, and doing so with the focus on a personal relationship that is uncommon in the bigger firms. Mr. Shumate's also has a passion for assisting those facing the challenges of the criminal legal system. By representing individuals in a variety of criminal and traffic matters, Mr. Shumate works to achieve the best possible result for each client regardless of the charges levied by the prosecution. Chris has tirelessly pursued his mission of helping people from all walks of life throughout the Carolinas with a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in learning more about Chris Shumate and The Shumate Law Offices, please contact us at 704.371.5059. We look forward to assisting you to achieve a positive result in your legal concern. Education J.D., University of South Carolina B.S., University of South Carolina Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice N.C. State BarS.C. State BarU.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina Professional & Bar Association Memberships N.C. Bar Association S.C. Bar Association Mecklenburg County Bar N.C. Academy Of Trial Lawyers American Association For Justice


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