Pro-Football, Inc. v. TupaAnnotate this Case
This case involved a claim by a former professional football player (the athlete) for benefits under the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act based on an injury during pre-game warm-up at the employer's stadium in Maryland. The employment agreement contained a forum selection clause providing, inter alia, that claims for workers' compensation benefits should be governed by Virginia law and that the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission should have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve such claims. The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission decided that it could properly exercise jurisdiction over the athlete's claim, that the athlete had sustained an accidental injury arising out of the course of his employment, and that the athlete's disability was causally related to his accidental injury. The circuit court upheld the decision. The court of special appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the forum selection clause in the employment contract was ineffective to divest the Commission of the ability to exercise jurisdiction; and (2) injuries occurring while playing and practicing professional football are accidental injuries and thus compensable under the Act.