|A former defensive end with the Pittsburgh Steelers football team lost his bid for workers’ compensation Thursday after the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court found that a 2004 injury that ended his season did not result in a loss of earnings despite his never playing professionally again. |
A three-judge panel agreed that testimony from a pair of orthopedic surgeons who treated Ainsley Battles after a season-ending hamstring tear in 2004 proved that the player sufficiently recovered from the injury to continue pursuing his football career prior to his ultimate retirement in 2006.
“Both doctors agreed that claimant’s injury would not prevent him from playing professional football, and neither doctor suggested that claimant’s injury caused a loss in earning power after he completed his rehabilitation,” the court ruled in a decision penned by Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt.
Battles had asked the Commonwealth Court to overturn a decision by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board which found that the Steelers had no duty to pay the player for disability following the injury.
Battles, who previously played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills before signing a one-year contract with the Steelers, tore his hamstring in his first game with the team in September 2004. According to court records, Battles was cleared to...